Can we create a healthier Ice Syrup? Ontario Genomics is providing funding for an academic-industry partnership to do just that.
Sweet & Sticky Inc. located in the Niagara Peninsula produces Ice Syrup®, a unique non-alcoholic syrup made from Vidal and Cabernet Franc icewine grapes. Sweet and Sticky harvests their grapes in the coldest months of the year, when the content of desirable polyphenolics like resveratrol, pterostilbene, and dozens of others are peaking. However, since Ice Syrup is non-alcoholic, only low concentrations of these desirable polyphenolics, which have low water solubility, make it into the final product. To address this limitation, Sweet & Sticky Inc. is collaborating with Prof. Jeff Stuart, from Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) to develop a ‘green extraction’ strategy for capturing the full spectrum of beneficial polyphenolics in Ice Syrup waste pomace and re-introducing it into the Ice Syrup product. To realize this goal, the team, with the support of Ontario Genomics, is conducting full metabolomics profiling of their different extraction protocols to determine best practices. Having metabolomics data provides the necessary foundation for developing Sweet & Sticky’s strategies for production processes harvesting, post-harvest treatment, and extraction processes at an industrial scale. This will ensure best production and extraction conditions and the highest concentrations of the most relevant polyphenols in their new antioxidant enhanced Ice Syrup product. This will also provide nutritional information that will be used for marketing purposes by Sweet & Sticky.