June 23

Sunny Crunch Food

Sunny Crunch is a family-owned company for more than 35 years, located in Markham (Toronto-north). We were welcomed by the director who gave a short introduction about the company. After that, the head of the research department showed us the factory with de various product lines. Sunny Crunch produces cereals, granola bars and capsules filled with fruits and herbs. 90% of the sales is manufactured under private label. Companies are contracting Sunny Crunch to develop a new product. Together with the client, supermarkets and food companies, Sunny Crunch formulates a recipe and the packaging and the labeling is designed. The newest trend in sales is ‘functional foods’. The fortified granola bars are low in fat content and contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids (flaxseed). In October 2008 a bar with probiotica (Bacillus coagulens) will be launched. The microbial safety testing of the food products is done by an external microbial testing laboratory. The regular testing includes Total Plate Count, E. coli, Salmonella and S. aureus. When the product contains chocolate, also a test on L. monocytogenes is included.
After our first factory visit we were planning to have our lunch in a restaurant in the neighborhood of Sunny Crunch. However, one of our 3 vans had a nasty accident; a snoozing Canadian driver run into our van. Fortunately, the occupants were not injured, but our beautiful van was totally crashed. After getting out of the van, a terrible hail (marble size) starting to rattle on the heads…bad luck follows bad luck. During the rest of the afternoon, Petra and Tjakko were busy with the administrative matters and tried to handle the tiresome customer service of the insurance company (never rent a car via Holiday Cars….). The rest of the group had a lunch at Subway and went to the next visit of that day.

Cool Beer Brewery

The visit to Cool Beer Brewery relieved the whole group; we were welcomed with an excellent beer tasting session tapped by the brew-master. The small brewery is located in Toronto-south and brews three beers; Cool Beer, Buzz and Stonewall. Both Cool Beer and Buzz are lager beers (5% alcohol) and Stonewall is sold as a light beer (4% alcohol). The sales market is mainly focused on Toronto (3 million people) where it can be bought in beer stores. After tasting the beer, we were introduced to the brewery and the beer process lines. Daily a new batch a beer is brewed by 4-5 employees; one of these is the quality assurance employee who studied in our own laboratory in Wageningen! The visit was concluded with three presentations by ourselves; Yann, Sachin and Greetje. On the end of the day we returned to the student-residence of Toronto University, downtown. (Heidy den Besten)