Gentle Processing™: Putting the “Whole” Back in Food

Michael Drabiuk is a naturopathic doctor with a focus on oncology. He has led a couple of successful nutrition-based businesses and is now focused on the role of food processing as part of a healthy diet. “Nature has the ingredients and micronutrients to help us to stay healthy. Unfortunately, many of our processing methods use excessive heat and chemicals of a synthetic nature and we don’t know their long-term effects.” 

He teamed up with Alan Ogden and Leonard Yungwirth 2011 to create Gentle Processing™. Commodities such as peas, lentils, fava beans, flax seeds, and hemp must go through different processes to kill harmful bacteria such as E-Coli and Salmonella before they are sold. Unfortunately, nutritional value can be lost through traditional processing methods that use chemical solvents or heat.

“We’ve created a technology that can maintain the commodities original proteins and nutritional values. It’s not a microwave but it’s similar to a microwave. We are using energy to work on the water molecule,” shares Drabiuk. “Our third-party testing has confirmed lowered microbial loads, extended shelf life, improved flavour profiles and we’re using nothing but energy.”

“High-pressure processing and steam change the functionality of the commodity. Companies can spend $3 million on systems that use heat and steam but unfortunately, it affects the food structure,” he continues. “When you are getting into the plant-based protein arena, our system can keep the structure the same and address microbes that could be responsible for health issues - and that’s powerful.”

The Prince Albert-based company is currently selling its processing system to food manufacturers around Canada and the US. Many of them are opting to add the Gentle Processing logo to their packaging to show their commitment to the unique technique.

The Gentle Processing system not only has nutritional benefits, but it also has great potential for economic value.  “There are millions of metric tons of our commodities that are wasted every year due to inadequate processing techniques. This doesn’t have to happen. We can help by using our system,” added Drabiuk.

As the team tackles the safety of our food supply, they intend to continue building their company in Saskatchewan. “There is a definite advantage to building the company here,” smiles Drabiuk. “We have close proximity to the largest commodity producers in the world and we have the tech to help them safely export their products.”

Founders: Michael Drabiuk, Alan Ogden, Leonard Yungwirth

Incorporation Date: November 2011

Employees: 20