Reports Archive 2017

November, 2017

Grâce à des chercheurs du Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, une nouvelle variété de l’un des légumes les plus sains, la patate douce, sera bientôt prête à être produite à grande échelle commerciale au Canada.

November, 2017

The nursery/landscape sector is recognized as being very labour intensive, with very little use of mechanization or automation. In this project, Vineland has undertaken a one-year study of the Ontario nursery sector from the perspective of Systems Thinking and Lean Manufacturing. The project is intended to produce outcomes that will help characterize the organizational facets of Ontario nursery producers, positive and negative, in order to find impactful nexus points for implementing system engineering approaches as well as any potential for mechanization.

October, 2017

Food Quality and Preference, Volume 62, December 2017, Pages 237-245
The article is available here at a cost.

Abstract: A. Grygorczyk, A. Jenkins, K. Deyman, A. J. Bowen and J. Turecek. Consumers are increasingly interested in the practices surrounding food production. Transparency has been identified as a key component of consumer trust building to earn social license for innovations in plant biotechnology. However, the increasing complexity of these technologies has made clear, that concise communication between experts and the public is a challenge. The present research applies appeal ratings and CATA (Check-all that-apply), supplemented with in-person interviews to verify comprehension, in order to refine wording around explanations of plant breeding tools. Appeal ratings and CATA were able to successfully distinguish preferred phrasings to improve the wording around food production processes. Based on the outcomes, recommendations are made to avoid technical jargon and plant anthropomorphisms, add back familiarity (for example with images of people or familiar processes) and address the fear of unintended consequences. This research is the first attempt to use appeal ratings and CATA to fine-tune message wording and demonstrates the utility of the protocol for use by consumer and sensory researchers to assist marketing teams with developing optimal product taglines or to aid PR and communications groups within their organizations.

June, 2017

Journal of Sensory Studies, 2017, e12268
The article is available here at a cost.

Abstract: A. Grygorczyk, A. Jenkins, A. J. Bowen. Involvement scales have been widely used to measure the extent to which a product is associated with an individual’s self-concept, and the hedonic pleasure evoked by the activity or product. A number of studies have linked involvement with higher overall spending on a product. This study aimed to determine whether gardening involvement predicted increased garden plant purchasing behavior in Canada and to understand the implications of high gardening involvement by comparison with other measures, both subjective (self-assessed expertise) and objective (hours spent gardening, objective gardening knowledge). Gardening involvement did not predict purchasing behavior nor did self-assessed gardening expertise. However, objective measures (hours spent gardening and objective gardening knowledge) were found to predict plant purchasing. It is suggested that the involvement scale be used in combination with objective measures to distinguish between consumers with high product interest but low present use and those with high interest and high product use.

Ontario horticulture research priority report 2017
May, 2017


  • Edible horticulture
  • Ornamental horticulture
An automation technology strategy for the Canadian horticulture sector
April, 2017


  • Labour and automation in the Canadian horticulture sector
  • Trends in automation technology development
  • Vision and strategy development
  • Horticulture automation technology strategy
Growing Forward 2 annual report 2016-2017
March, 2017


  • Performance measures 2016-17
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Applied research and innovation activities
  • Knowledge translation and transfer, outreach and communications activities
  • Commercialization
February, 2017

PloS One, 2017, 12(2): e0171710. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171710
Click here to view the article

Abstract: Amyotte B., A.J. Bowen, T. Banks, I. Rajcan and D.J. Somers. Breeding apples is a long-term endeavour and it is imperative that new cultivars are selected to have outstanding consumer appeal. This study has taken the approach of merging sensory science with genome wide association analyses in order to map the human perception of apple flavour and texture onto the apple genome. The goal was to identify genomic associations that could be used in breeding apples for improved fruit quality. A collection of 85 apple cultivars was examined over two years through descriptive sensory evaluation by a trained sensory panel. The trained sensory panel scored randomized sliced samples of each apple cultivar for seventeen taste, flavour and texture attributes using controlled sensory evaluation practices. In addition, the apple collection was subjected to genotyping by sequencing for marker discovery. A genome wide association analysis suggested significant genomic associations for several sensory traits including juiciness, crispness, mealiness and fresh green apple flavour. The findings include previously unreported genomic regions that could be used in apple breeding and suggest that similar sensory association mapping methods could be applied in other plants.