NutraSun Foods Ltd.

From the Wheat Belt to the baker’s bench, superior flour products
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Sean Barr

Throughout Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, wheat is a major production crop and the Prairie Provinces are the heart of Canada’s Wheat Belt, turning out more than 25 million metric tonnes annually.

For NutraSun Foods Ltd. (NutraSun) location is everything. Located in Regina, Saskatchewan, the company is one of Canada’s premier flour mills, specializing in custom milling of high-quality organic and conventional Canadian Hard Red Spring Wheat and Hard White Wheat for customers across North America and the world.

Bringing the best of Canada to the world

NutraSun’s mill has the ability to produce more than 25,000 tonnes of flour products a year, including bakery mixes, dough conditioners and whole grain items. The company sources its grain directly from one of the most productive grain-growing regions in the world.

“We buy directly from commercial sellers or farmers,” explains Kelvin Maloney, director of business development for NutraSun. “On the organics side, we work with a selection of certified growers around the mill. We clean the wheat, mill it, sell the milled bi-products and ship out the flour. We can ship in any quantity, ranging from 2 kilogram re-sealable pouch packs to full railcars.”

Backed by parent company Paterson GlobalFoods Inc. (PGF), a private, family-owned, agri-food company with a long-standing history in Canadian agriculture, NutraSun is capable of getting products to a global audience. PGF was originally established in 1908 as N.M. Paterson & Company Limited. Now, the company is a conglomerate of international agri-food and related businesses, delivering high-quality commodities to suppliers and consumers around the world.

“PGF purchased the mill in 2005,” shares Maloney. “Now we operate as a conventional and organic mill.” In the last several years, the lion’s share of NutraSun’s business has focused on the organics sector and conventional specialty flours and dough conditioners. Maloney sees room for further growth in these areas.

“We’re seeing strong demand from the organics side and there is also a wider range of conventional specialty products being produced, so our objective is to remain focused in these areas and expand the business,” he adds. “Consumers want healthier alternatives and this is an area of focus for the business.”

Feeling good about organic

NutraSun’s organic baking products use organically grown Hard White and Hard Red Spring Canadian wheat.

From organic pancake and waffle mix to organic, additive-free white, whole wheat, multi-grain and flax bread mixes, NutraSun is milling up a better product than conventional counterparts. “We’re also working to develop clean label, organic dough conditioners and other specialty products to assist commercial bakers in the organics market,” notes Maloney.

Suitable for all yeast-raised baked goods, NutraBake and SunnyBake dough conditioners increase the quality of products through faster dough fermentation, extended shelf life and freshness, increased volume of production, improved slicing quality and much more.

“The benefits of a professional dough conditioner are huge,” says Maloney. “It enhances the aroma, quality and flavour of the finished product and bakers can feel good about our dough conditioners, because they are certified organic or clean label bread products.”

While the organics market continues its robust expansion, Maloney says NutraSun has been working with tight supplies of organic wheat. With the Canadian wheat crop down 26 percent from 2013’s record harvest, lower yields have influenced supply.

Weather problems have plagued growers in the northern plains and also caused trouble for farmers in the Prairie Provinces. In some areas, it has been too cold and wet, while western regions have seen the same drought conditions that are affecting the western U.S.

Fortunately, years of experience in the baking industry backed by an in-house product development team, and a commitment to organics and specialty products, continue to set the company apart. NutraSun Foods Ltd. remains a notable player in Canada’s wheat processing and packaging industry.

Strategic Partnership(s):