Centre for Natural Products

The Centre for Natural Products (CNP) is an innovation hub with expertise in plant-based technologies. We offer unique expertise to support the needs of industry partners in the natural products, food and beverage, cannabis, and psilocybin industries.

The CNP specializes in working with start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to transform research results into high-quality and innovative products and processes in the natural products, agri-tech, cannabis, psilocybin, and synthetic biology sectors.

We have collaborated over the years with industry partners, funding agencies and applied research institutions to develop new methods, improve products and processes and solve business challenges. As Canada’s only National Technology Access Centre for Natural Products, we are uniquely positioned to help clients leverage funding programs and supports for our services.

Loyalist College was the first college in Canada to have a laboratory licensed by Health Canada to conduct cannabis research and analytical testing, and the first college in Ontario to have a research license renewed for five years and analytical license renewed for three years. We have since become licensed by Health Canada to conduct psilocybin research and analytical testing. 

Why Work with Us?

How We Can Help You

Applied Research Projects

We support innovation by increasing industry access to sector-relevant expertise and technology, including method and process optimization, benchmarking, concept design, testing, feasibility studies, extraction and formulation, and we offer a full range of services to conduct collaborative contract research projects, including tissue culture projects.

Testing

The Centre provides a broad scope of analytical testing for the natural products, food, beverages, and cannabis industries, including specializations in:

Tests for the potency of bioactive ingredients, impurities, product chemical and physical characteristics and stability/shelf life reporting are among the most often requested tests.

Training

We can also support customized training opportunities in any of the above areas. If you are considering equipment purchase, we can provide customized trials as well as training after purchase.

Facilities

The Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis has 5100 square feet of advanced equipment and instrumentation located in 3 separate laboratories.

Our laboratories house equipment to support sample preparation, extraction and advanced analytics, formulation and product development, and tissue culture and micropropagation.

The Centre supports its industry partners by providing advanced analytical instrumentation to conduct routine and specialized chemical and biological analyses. Our team is equipped to help identify problems and improve manufacturing operations, resulting in more profitable product lines.

Being Canada’s only National Technological Access Centre for natural products and medical cannabis, we have formed a team with unique expertise in extraction to explore different active compounds from medicinal plants or herbs, with applications in the cosmetics, food and
cannabis industries. 

– Bench and Pilot scale supercritical (SC) CO2 extractors

– Research scale accelerated solvent extractor (ASE)

– High performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) with UV detection

– Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (head-space and liquid injection)

– LC/GC-QTOFMS for screening and quantification of unknown compounds in complex mixtures

– Supercritical chromatography for both analytical and purification of applications

The tissue culture lab within the Centre offers specialized equipment to conduct biological research, including the growth of plant cells from existing tissue under controlled environmental conditions. 

Our team harnesses a collection of specialized techniques to aid our industry partners in utilizing micropropagation to grow desired plants in bulk, producing more samples than traditional methods in a shorter amount of time. Some additional benefits of using this technique include increased likelihood of disease-free plants,  propagating rare and endangered plants or plants with difficulties in seed germination and dormancy.

– Controlled environmental chambers

– Biosafety cabinet

The Centre provides unique expertise in formulating a wide range of natural products, from cosmetics to food items as well as various cannabis-infused products. 

At the Centre, we are engaged in research projects at every stage of product development, from literature reviews to method development, all the way to formulating viable end products and innovative solutions that contribute to the bio-economy.

– Lab scale, high shear microfluidizer for production of micro and nanoscale-sized materials

– Particle size analyzer for characterization of emulsions and other products

– Kinemetric viscometer for viscosity measurements of small volume samples

– Pharmaceutical stability and photostability chamber designed for ICH Q1B photostability and ICH Q1A stability testing

The Centre is equipped to perform several different types of sample preparations, supporting our industry partners in assessing and comparing manufactured products to ensure consumer safety, test ingredients and monitor potential contaminants.   

Sample preparation is a crucial step in analyses that, when done correctly, allows researchers to unlock faster and more accurate results to advance product and process development. 

– Airflow Kiln designed to control temperature and humidity during the drying/curing process, containing 30 stainless steel trays

– Freeze Dryer purposed for sample preparation, preservation and/or storage of heat-sensitive samples. Equipped for bulk and individual lyophilization

– Rotary Evaporator (1L)

– Variable speed rotor mill for impact, shearing and cutting comminution in one instrument

Working With Us

Step 1

Meet with industry partner to define the problem or challenge.

Step 2

Explore funding options.

Step 3

Collaborate with industry partner on research agreement.

Step 4

Assemble research team and develop protocols.

Step 5

Perform services: applied R&D, testing, training, product strategy, and business support.

Step 6

Provide deliverables.

 

If you are interested in learning more about any of our services, contact Senior Manager, Carly Kelly.