The Food Professor

Live from the Montreal SIAL Food Innovation Show: Meera Sunny, Director of Research & Development and Ingredient Sales, CanMar Foods

Episode Summary

Welcome to the first of several special SIAL bonus episodes of The Food Professor podcast! Sylvain and I were thrilled to be the official podcast of the SIAL food innovation trade show held in Montreal in April; for many, the first in-person event since the COVID era began two years ago. We had the opportunity to meet and get to know many food innovators and entrepreneurs, creators and makers from many facets of the food industry. In this episode, Meera Sunny Director of Research & Development and Ingredient Sales, CanMar Foods.

Episode Notes

Welcome to the first of several special SIAL bonus episodes of The Food Professor podcast!

Sylvain and I were thrilled to be the official podcast of the SIAL food innovation trade show held in Montreal in April; for many, the first in-person event since the COVID era began two years ago.

We had the opportunity to meet and get to know many food innovators and entrepreneurs, creators and makers from many facets of the food industry.   These are their stories.


Thanks for joining us on this special bonus episode of The Food Professor.  Stay tuned for plenty of great interviews from our podcast studio on the trade show floor in Montreal at SIAL, and stay tuned for our regular full length episodes available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google - wherever you enjoy your podcasts today.  

About Meera Sunny

Director of Research & Development and Ingredient Sales, CanMar Foods

Passionate and business-oriented food science fanatic with working knowledge of food product development, alt proteins, food 3D printing, molecular biology, agriculture, nutrition, market research, QA and ingredient sales

About CanMar Foods

Think Big. Think Saskatchewan’s Flax.

CanMar Foods is the largest processor of food-grade flax in Canada and North America. We clean, roast, mill, package, and ship our roasted flax and roasted hemp seeds to consumers and wholesalers around the world.  Watch to learn more about CanMar and how we’re leading flax production in Saskatchewan.

Shop CanMar on Amazon

About Us

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is a Professor in food distribution and policy in the Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is also the Senior Director of the Agri-food Analytics Lab, also located at Dalhousie University. Before joining Dalhousie, he was affiliated with the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute, which he co-founded. Known as “The Food Professor”, his current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety. Google Scholar ranks him as one of the world's most cited scholars in food supply chain management, food value chains and traceability.

He has authored five books on global food systems, his most recent one published in 2017 by Wiley-Blackwell entitled “Food Safety, Risk Intelligence and Benchmarking”. He has also published over 500 peer-reviewed journal articles in several academic publications. Furthermore, his research has been featured in several newspapers and media groups, including The Lancet, The Economist, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BBC, NBC, ABC, Fox News, Foreign Affairs, the Globe & Mail, the National Post and the Toronto Star.

Dr. Charlebois sits on a few company boards, and supports many organizations as a special advisor, including some publicly traded companies. Charlebois is also a member of the Scientific Council of the Business Scientific Institute, based in Luxemburg. Dr. Charlebois is a member of the Global Food Traceability Centre’s Advisory Board based in Washington DC, and a member of the National Scientific Committee of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in Ottawa.

Michael LeBlanc  is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice.   He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career.  Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast,       The Voice of Retail, plus  Global E-Commerce Tech Talks  ,      The Food Professor  with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois and now in its second season, Conversations with CommerceNext!  You can learn more about Michael   here  or on     LinkedIn. 

Be sure and check out Michael's latest adventure for fun and influencer riches - Last Request Barbecue,  his YouTube BBQ cooking channel!

Episode Transcription

Michael LeBlanc  00:05

Welcome to the first of several special SIAL bonus episodes of The Food Professor podcast. 

Michael LeBlanc  00:09

Sylvain and I were thrilled to be the official podcast at the SIAL food andinnovation trade show held in Montreal in April; for many, it was the first in-person event since the COVID era began two years ago so, it was a really special gathering. We had the opportunity to meet and get to know many food innovators and entrepreneurs, creators and makers from many facets of the food industry. These are their stories.

Michael LeBlanc  00:33

All right, welcome to The Food Professor podcast. We are here live.

Sylvain Charlebois  00:36


Michael LeBlanc  00:37

Live in Montreal at the SIAL show in this wonderful podcasting studio. 

Sylvain Charlebois  00:41


Michael LeBlanc  00:42

Sylvain, this is actually the first of many interviews we're going to do. We're thrilled to have Meera here with us. And she's going to tell us all about what she does and all the products. So, welcome. Thank you and welcome to the podcast.

Meera Sunny  00:53

Thank you so much. 

Sylvain Charlebois  00:54

You're welcome. 

Meera Sunny  00:55

It’s been such a pleasure. Thank you for inviting me here. 

Michael LeBlanc  00:57

All right. 

Meera Sunny  00:57

Yeah, so, a little bit about me. My name is Meera Sunny, I'm the Director of Research and Development and Ingredient Sales with CanMar Foods. So, CanMar, who are we? We are a family owned company.

Michael LeBlanc  01:09

I know who you are. But most people don't. 

Michael LeBlanc  01:11

How do you, how do you know who CanMar is?

Sylvain Charlebois  01:13

Well, you know, many years ago, and I was in Saskatchewan, I dealt with the founder of CanMar, Cecil Werner. And we actually organized a mission to Mexico to actually get Mexicans to replace corn with flax for their tortilla’s. That was back in 2007, I think, -

Meera Sunny  01:16


Sylvain Charlebois  01:17

and fell in love with the company, fell in love with Cecil, his son and learned yesterday that they, he sold the company off to some great leaders, great, great entrepreneurs.

Meera Sunny  01:44

Yes, and in 2017 Cecil sold the company to Hokanson Capital. And from now on, and we have a new team that came over and took it, and it's, it's been great. I joined CanMar around 10 months ago, and the journey has, - 

Sylvain Charlebois  01:51

Ten months ago? 

Meera Sunny  01:56

Ten months ago and I moved all the way from Hamilton to Regina.

Michael LeBlanc  02:04


Sylvain Charlebois  02:04

You're kidding. 

Meera Sunny  02:05


Sylvain Charlebois  02:05

How's Regina working?

Meera Sunny  02:07

It's really beautiful.

Sylvain Charlebois  02:08

Isn't it?

Michael LeBlanc  02:09

It's a lot like Hamilton, though, right? (crossover talk) I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

Sylvain Charlebois  02:14

But I got to tell you that most people who bash Regina, they've never lived in Regina. 

Michael LeBlanc  02:20

I've been to Regina. I liked, I like Regina. 

Sylvain Charlebois  02:21

It's, it's a great city.

Michael LeBlanc  02:22

I love the people, I like, anyway, so anyway, enough about us. Tell us, (crossover talk) continue telling us about you.

Meera Sunny  02:29

About me? So, I'm a food scientist. I work with all the major brands like (inaudible), Maple Leaf. 

Sylvain Charlebois  02:31

Where did you go to school? 

Meera Sunny  02:36

McGill. I did my masters at McGill. 

Sylvain Charlebois  02:40

Good school. Good school. 

Michael LeBlanc  02:41

You're in your home turf then.

Meera Sunny  02:44

Yes, I'm in my home turf. It's, it's a pleasure coming back to Montreal.

Sylvain Charlebois  02:45

Do you know Stephane Bayen? He's my friend. He's my friend. 

Meera Sunny  02:49

Yes. He was my professor.

Michael LeBlanc  02:50

Here's a tip for you, he's friends with everybody, so, (crossover talk).

Sylvain Charlebois  02:54

Everyone owes me money. 

Michael LeBlanc  02:55


Meera Sunny  02:57

Yeah, so, yeah, I worked with all the major brands and as a senior food scientist developing all the bakery products or (inaudible) plant-based meats. I've been doing food 3d printing as well. 

Sylvain Charlebois  03:10

Oh, wow. 

Meera Sunny  03:11

Yeah, I, (crossover talk)

Michael LeBlanc  03:11

Sorry, you said food 3d printing? 

Sylvain Charlebois  03:13


Michael LeBlanc  03:14

Is that what you said? 

Meera Sunny  03:14


Michael LeBlanc  03:15

Is that like cake decoration? Like, fondant? 

Meera Sunny  03:17

You can make everything out of it.

Sylvain Charlebois  03:18

Yeah, sort of thing? It's, it's you spread goo. And  -

Michael LeBlanc  03:19

Yeah, yeah, -

Sylvain Charlebois  03:20

it works out, yeah.

Michael LeBlanc  03:22

And from goo it becomes something else? 

Sylvain Charlebois  03:23


Meera Sunny  03:24

Yeah. It's fun being a food scientist. So, I was developing all these products and working with all the functional foods, high protein beverages and stuff. And I was like, wait a minute, what am I doing? Like, you know, doing all these things? And will I eat it every day? I said, No. As a food scientist, it's really hard for you to eat this stuff every day. So, I know what goes in there. So, I left my job with all the multinational companies and I joined CanMar. And what we do, we grow flax and hemp seeds. 

Sylvain Charlebois  03:56

And what is flax? 

Meera Sunny  03:57

Flax is a super food. It's like an old lady. It's even in the testimony in the Bible. Old Testament in the Bible. It's one of the oldest groups that mankind grew. So, I, I know the benefits of flax, and you know how important it is and why CanMar? CanMar is having, CanMar's one of the largest producer and processor of flax in North America, and they have one of the best products out there. And eating flax every day, I love it.

Sylvain Charlebois  04:24

And what, so, explain it to us. I know what you can do with flax, but explain to our audience what can you do with flax?

Meera Sunny  04:31

What you cannot do with flax? I'm asking you the same. You can bake with it, you can cook dishes with it, you can marinate, or you know, power fry with it, or you name it. You can sort of add to everything you bake, your plant-based burger or smoothies. It can, it can go through everything. So, flax and hemp are like two super foods that mankind has ever known and, -

Sylvain Charlebois  04:55

And at SIAL so, how are people approaching you, appro-, approaching your kiosk? Are they asking questions about flax or asking questions about the company? Where your product is like, what, what, what kind of reaction are you getting, right now?

Meera Sunny  05:09

So, people are more surprised. People have seen normal flax on the shelf and people are like, I eat them every day, and you know why is your product is different? So, we roast, we have patented a roasting technology in Canada and our products are roasted and people, the roasting gives more aroma, and you know the flavor and texture to it. It has more crunch to it, and both flax and hemp and we, the patented roasting process is having, maintains the omega 3's and all of other essential fatty acids in the product. And that delivers right to you, it increases the bioavailability in roasting. 

Michael LeBlanc  05:44

Wow, and, and how complex is all that like from a food scientist perspective? Like, from a basic processing to complexity is, is there a lot of complexity baked in to get what you get out of the flaxseed?

Meera Sunny  05:55

So, in terms of our roasting process?

Michael LeBlanc  05:58

Well, in term, in terms of just the, the science behind it, not, not, the you know, adding on ingredients and processes, but just how technical is it to get great flax?

Meera Sunny  06:07

How technical it is to get a great flax? It's, it's how goes a lot of work into it and I, what I always tell my consumers know your flax, right? You can get like hundreds of flax everywhere. Why is it different? 

Michael LeBlanc  06:09

Right, right, right, right.

Meera Sunny  06:10

It (inaudible) you have to see where it is growing, you have to be transparent, like you know, it’s from all over the flax is coming from all over the world, even though Canada is one of the leading producer of flax but the quality and the pesticides used by other people, you’d,- you really want to know. And also the other thing when it comes to flax is, is the purity standards. You can get you know, you buy flax from a store, and you open the box, and you add it to your yogurt, you don't want to see sticks and hay in there. 

Michael LeBlanc  06:29

Right, -

Meera Sunny  06:30

Nobody wants to see that, -

Sylvain Charlebois  06:31

No, -

Meera Sunny  06:32

and some of that are in them. So, I feel that the flax market is neglected on that because the purity is something that we should be really concerned about, something that comes directly from the farm. So, that's where CanMar comes into the picture. We clean it to 99.99 percent, which is so different from what you get in the industry that's 99.9.

Sylvain Charlebois  06:33


Meera Sunny  06:34

And it's so different that you know, there is no sticks or anything. We do a metal detector and color sorting. We have a 13-step cleaning process that is kind of differentiating us from the market and giving people premium products, and it's been 20 yards, 20 years in the market and people trust us, and we really enjoy giving the best product. And here at the show it's been several years like, two or three years that we are not hearing from everybody due to COVID and this is a great platform for us, and we have our existing customers distributors, retailers.

Michael LeBlanc  07:48

Has, has it, has it been hard during the COVID period for you to make those new relationships without shows like this, live shows like this?

Meera Sunny  07:47

Yes. I've, I've been talking to people for two years, and they haven't seen me in person and when they met me it was like, oh this is what you look like.

Michael LeBlanc  07:54

You're taller in person. 

Meera Sunny  07:55

Yeah, so, then it's like you, (crossover talk) 

Sylvain Charlebois  07:57

Yeah, there's a lot of that going on right now, it’s the truth, -

Meera Sunny  07:58

Yeah, it's like face-to-face interaction and people sharing their thoughts, and you know, we love your product and this is (inaudible) and there are a lot of questions you know what you can do with it and what you cannot do. So, where I come with the CanMar is I come to the (inaudible) since I'm the food scientist, I help all these companies to develop their products. How you can incorporate flax into their product (crossover talk), -

Michael LeBanc   08:18

Oh, I see. So, you are like a consultant, you basically for the process, I get it, I get it, okay (crossover talk), -

Meera Sunny  08:19

I am like a consultant. I also help them. So, I work with all the multinational, so the food companies I worked for, they are my clients now.

Sylvain Charlebois  08:27

You know, for a food scientist, your sales skills are, -

Michael LeBlanc  08:30

Are pretty good.

Sylvain Charlebois  08:31

They seem pretty good, yeah.

Michael LeBlanc  08:32

I was checking the business card as you're talking, I'm like, (inaudible) that's the McGill part. All right, so, speaking of which, you brought some stuff for us. 

Meera Sunny  08:38

So, yes. 

Michael LeBlanc  08:39

Like, a little bit of Trying Stuff here for us, Sylvain.

Sylvain Charlebois  08:40

Yes, that’s right.

Meera Sunny  08:41

Yes. I have here our roasted flaxseed, milled one, golden roasted. You can find us in Costco or like Maxi in Quebec or like you know, -

Sylvain Charlebois  08:51

Full disclosure, I've already tried CanMar products but, heh, -

Meera Sunny  08:54

So, this is paired with Greek yogurt. So, this is our roasted flaxseed. 

Michael LeBlanc  08:54

So good, so good. 

Meera Sunny  09:00

And, I eat them every day.

Sylvain Charlebois  09:02

I've got to tell you Michael, once you actually put flax on stuff, you just put on some flax on everything. 

Michael LeBlanc  09:07

You never go back. 

Sylvan Charlebois 09:08

Oh, yeah.

Meera Sunny  09:09

Yeah, that's, if you try the CanMar flax, and you try it for once, and you compare it with the flax that you're eating every day. There is no going back.

Michael LeBlanc  09:10

Or not eating everyday. So, what, what, how, how many Canadians eat flax? Like is it, is it a, is it super, is it popular, - 

Sylvain Charlebois  09:22


Michael LeBlanc  09:23

Is it popular? Is, -

Meera Sunny  09:24

Yeah, it is getting a lot more popularity right now because, right now, they are Arrell super-foods and people really care about what they really put into their body and flax is winning the story. And flax is elected as one of the top innovative botanical ingredients that's like an emerging ingredient by Innova Super Trend by 2022. So, it's kind of having that great (crossover talk), -

Michael LeBlanc  09:23

A moment? It's on a big moment. 

Meera Sunny  09:26

So, here I have our roasted hemp seeds.

Michael LeBlanc  09:43

So, let's talk about hemp. We've been talking about flax, so, let's talk about hemp. 

Sylvain Charlebois  09:54

I've never tried the hemp seed, wow. 

Michael LeBlanc  09:55

So, tell us about hemp a bit, a little bit.

Meera Sunny  09:58

So, hemp comes from. So, hemp is a super-food, and it's a complete protein that gives all amino acids, out of only a couple of handful of complete protein foods that you have out there. And hemp is one among them. And why CanMar hemp is different? People try to, people are so familiar with hemp hearts and people like oh, that's hemp hearts. No hemp hearts is the inside of the hemp seed. There is a heart, so we de-shell it.

Sylvain Charlebois  10:25

This is super interesting.

Michael LeBlanc  10:26

Yeah, it's crunchy. Crunch into the microphone because you get, there you go, you get a good crunch. For all those ASMR people out there, you can hear us eating, (crossover talk), -

Meera Sunny  10:35

So, they de-shell it and the shell goes to animal feed and everything and why we come into picture? We are a family-owned company, and we believe in sustainability. And like, you know, you don't want any by-product when you create a product. So, we believe that the outer shell is having more fiber. It's like 30% fiber and rare vitamins and minerals. I don't see a point of throwing out that, you know, dietary fiber into animal feed.

Sylvain Charlebois  11:03

And when did you get into hemp? Because when I was dealing with CanMar, you weren't in hemp.

Meera Sunny  11:09

Yes. We be introduced hemp in 2018. 

Sylvain Charlebois  11:12


Meera Sunny  11:13

So, it just -

Sylvain Charlebois  11:14

Very recent. 

Meera Sunny  11:14

Very recent. And it was during the COVID time also, we couldn't do much of sampling, and you know.

Sylvain Charlebois  11:19

And how are people reacting to, to your hemp product here at SIAL?

Meera Sunny  11:22

They are so surprised. They haven't seen hemp. So, nobody tried hemp. People are only familiar with him hearts. And I'm like, no, this is what it, is that I make people try it and it's like there is, is there any point of them making hemp hearts out of it? And when we were initially discussing about what we can do to add a new product of innovation, and that year they, we introduced hemp and how we want to do it? Everybody's doing hemp heart, so how can we be different? And we said, eating whole foods is much better than eating the byproduct. 

Sylvain Charlebois  11:54

That's right.

Meera Sunny  11:55

Right? So, that's how hemp comes into the picture. And its right now people are sampling it and it's been great and people love it. It's having a nice crunch to it. 

Michael LeBlanc  11:56

Yeah, yeah.

Meera Sunny 11:57

And we have a, in the ingredient side we have a lot of more companies launching their products with hemp seeds, roasted hemp seeds in salads and everything. So, it's kind of fun, I have people making confectionery like chocolate coated hemp seeds out of it.

Sylvain Charlebois  12:20

Really? Wow. 

Michael LeBlanc  12:21

Come on, really?

Meera Sunny  12:22

Yeah. So there is, - 

Michael LeBlanc  12:23


Meera Sunny  12:24

It's actually there is, the possibilities of using flax and hemp in your products is like endless.

Sylvain Charlebois  12:30


Meera Sunny  12:30

And it's a great thing and we have a huge sustainability story to our product and,

Sylvain Charlebois  12:35

So, beyond Canada, are you getting some successes elsewhere like in the US or Europe?

Meera Sunny  12:43

Yes, we are right now exporting to more than 20 countries around the globe, -

Sylvain Charlebois  12:44


Meera Sunny  12:45

and we are quite famous for our roasted product and roasted products are like, (crossover talk), -

Sylvain Charlebois  12:52

The roasted product is just legendary. 

Michael LeBlanc  12:55

That's the first one we had, right? 

Meera Sunny  12:56

Absolutely, yes, (crossover talk), that’s the first, the first one. 

Michael LeBlanc  12:57

That was so flavorful. (crossover talk) 

Sylvain Charlebois  12:58

Here's the problem though, - 

Meera Sunny  12:59


Sylvain Charlebois  13:00

You buy a pouch, it lasts forever. Like, are you, are your pouches the same size as before? Have you, so, when you buy a flax, how big are the pouches?

Meera Sunny  13:10

So, we do have a 1.2 kg flax and we do have 425 grams of flax whole and milled, and the hemp is 325 grams. 

Sylvain Charlebois  13:19

325 grams. Okay. 

Meera Sunny  13:21

Yeah. So, we (crossover talk)

Sylvain Charlebois  13:22

Still, still big, no? 

Meera Sunny 13:23

It's no big. You eat flax every day.

Michael LeBlanc  13:25

You're not putting enough in. You're no using it enough, I guess.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:28

Well, that's kind of, I wanted her to say it.

Meera Sunny  13:33

So, if you look at it, it's, according to Health Canada, two tablespoon of hem-, of flax every day can help you with your cholesterol. It can give you, get you out of all your pills and everything.

Sylvain Charlebois  13:44

That's why I wanted to go to Mexico with flax. 

Meera Sunny  13:46

Yes. And, -

Sylvain Charlebois  13:47

How's Mexico? Are you in Mexico?

Meera Sunny  13:49

We are, we are in, we were in and out in Mexico Costco. 

Sylvain Charlebois  13:52

Oh, good. 

Meera Sunny  13:53

And then now we are like in talks with different. They have shown a great interest, we weren't doing, now we are back in rotation and stuff. So, we are in Costco, Spain, Eur-, Eur-, in North America, both US and Canada and then in Mexico. So, now we are relaunching in there so, it's been great. 

Sylvain Charlebois  13:55

That's great. 

Meera Sunny  14:03

Yeah, and our roasted products is mostly in retail and ingredient section as well. So, it's, it's a great journey.

Sylvain Charlebois  14:18

Are other countries grow, grow flax at all, other than Canada and the US?

Meera Sunny  14:23

So, Canada is the number one in the world. Second one in Kazakhstan, then it comes to Russia. 

Sylvain Charlebois  14:28


Meera Sunny  14:28

Then it's India. 

Sylvain Charlebois  14:30


Meera Sunny  14:30

Yeah. So, we have,

Sylvain Charlebois  14:31

India grows flax. 

Meera Sunny  14:32

India grows flax.

Michael LeBlanc  14:33

What doesn't India grow? I mean every you know, really, they're such a vast nation. 

Sylvain Charlebois  14:38

That's true.

Michael LeBlanc  14:38

Big agriculture nation, right? I mean, they grow a lot of stuff, different environments. So, if I'm a consumer looking for your product, and we'll put some links in the show notes 

Sylvain Chalebois  14:46


Michael LeBlanc  14:46

So, you, you both, you have one side of the business is selling it as an ingredient to brands, but then you sell it as your own brand. Is it brand, what's the brand we should look for, consumers should look for?

Sylvain Charlebois 14:55

CanMar Foods, -

Meera Sunny  14:56

CanMar Foods, that is the brand, and we do a lot of co-packing and private labeling ourselves, but in the retail if you're looking in North America, CanMar Foods. We are available, just go to our website, and you can put your address, postal code in there, it will tell you which are the nearby stores (crossover talk), and other than that it's and .ca, we are quite prominent there. And I have one of our innovations, we are launching our flax flour soon so, it's, we are so excited to launch that so, I have a cinnamon swirl muffin made out of flax flour here.

Sylvain Charlebois  15:34

Really? This is good stuff.

Michael LeBlanc  15:36

Is it all right to substitute for regular flour or is it an ingredient? What do you, how do you bake with it?

Meera Sunny  15:43

So, flax flour you can bake anything out of it. Other one is flax, is flax flour but it's so different from normal milled flax or the flax meal out there. People are so mixing up with that. Flax flour, it is gluten free, low carb, highly sustainable one and, (crossover talk) 

Michael LeBlanc  16:00

So, good.

Sylvain Charlebois  16:00

You know what? Muffin is like cake. But this is not cake. 

Michael LeBlanc  16:04


Sylvain Charlebois  16:06

It tastes nutritious. 

Michael LeBlanc  16:08

So good. This is so good. 

Meera Sunny  16:09

Nutrition can be great. 

Sylvain Charlebois  16:10

Muffin with a purpose.

Meera Sunny  16:11

So, this is kind of a market disrupter to almond flour or coconut flour out there. 

Sylvan Charlebois  16:12


Meera Sunny  16:13

So, almond flour when you talk about it, it takes 1.1-gallon liter to grow one almond (crossover talk) and it's just the pesticides and also the bees that they bring into the flower like, to pollinate the almonds and everything die out of the pesticides. So, there is a huge sustainably sort of flax takes 15 times less water than almonds. So, when it comes to CanMar there is no irrigation, we just depend on rainfall. We are in the grasslands of Canada so, there is no deforestation this is, we, we are, we are cultivating in 150 years of grasslands and no till.

Michael LeBlanc  16:58

Flat, flat as, flat as a pancake watch your dog run away for two days in some of the fields, I'm sure. 

Meera Sunny  17:05

That's true.

Michael LeBlanc  17:06

I love it. I love it.

Michael LeBlanc  17:07

So flax oil, is it a substitute for like avocado oil or?

Meera Sunny  17:07

So, this is like a huge sustainability story and when it comes to almond flour, people what they don't realize as almonds is higher in Omega-6 compared to and they don't have any Omega 3’s. Omega 6 causes inflammation, that's why you don't use any vegetable oil, -

Michael LeBlanc  17:08


Meera Sunny  17:09

Or any other oil there are. So, that's why we switched to Can-, or I mean flax oil or olive oil. So, when it comes to flax, the Omega 3 is much higher, which can be if you're not doing any you know, marine fish oil or anything or you want to eat plant-based, flax is one of the best way to eat it. So, you get flax or hemp, high in Omega-3 and do flax flour. It's high in fat, like (inaudible) of oils and high fiber.

Michael LeBlanc  17:25

So, flax oil is it a substitute for like avocado oil or, -

Meera Sunny  17:26

You cannot cook with flax oil. That's the thing. Because of the flashpoint is really high. 

Sylvain Charlebois  17:34


Meera Sunny  17:35

And, you know, you don't want that to lose any of the nutrients. 

Sylvain Charlebois  18:03


Meera Sunny  18:04

So, flax oil is something that you make desserts or like, add on top of your food, whatever you're making. But flax flours are an excellent, where we see a lot of interest, and it will be half the price of almond flour that you're doing. And we have a lot of celiac people reaching out to us. 

Sylvain Charlebois  18:20

Oh, right, right. 

Meera Sunny  18:22

People are quite excited about the flax flour? (crossover talk)

Michael LeBlanc  18:23

I, I can't, I can imagine you having great conversations with retailers and other people here, right, yeah?

Meera Sunny  18:28

We have a lot of great conversation with a lot of retailers or existing customers, new people who lead it, they try our product, and we sell in both retail and ingredient section as well, right? So, there is a lot. And I'm so excited that so many of our customers, manufacturers are launching products out of flax flour, I had gluten free pizza coming up, and smoothie mixes coming up. And there are a lot of muffins and making big sister uses (crossover talk), -

Sylvain Charlebois  18:54

This is great stuff. Because I remember my conversations with Cecil. I mean, we need you need to broaden the scope of flax. I mean, and this is exactly what you're doing. Congratulations. That's great.

Meera Sunny  18:55

Yes, thank you so much.

Michael LeBlanc  19:07

(Crossover talk), has there ever been a more important time both for our health and also geopolitically? You know, the supply chain for Canada right now is, now is the time. It's good for the environment you used to what you talked about as a substitute for others and all those things, right?

Meera Sunny  19:20

Yeah, the other thing is it’s allergen free, right? 

Sylvain Charlebois  19:21


Meera Sunny 19:23

So almond is allergen free.

Michael LeBlanc  19:24

It ticks a lot of boxes, it ticks a lot of boxes, (crossover talk), -

Meera Sunny19:27

You see what are the top 10 trends, our flax flour checks all the 10 trends and I could share.

Michael LeBlanc  19:33

I thought you're going to say checks 11 out of 10 the way you're talking. It's a fantastic product, right?

Sylvain Charlebois  19:38

Meera is one of the most energetic food scientists I've ever met.

Michael LeBlanc  19:42

Well listen, Meera, it's been such a treat to have you on, you've already told us a bit on what's coming next. And we go to your website to find out more and you can buy you, direct from retailers and direct from Amazon. So, thank you so much for joining us on The Food Professor here at the S-, SIAL show. I wish you another great couple of days, continued success with s-, at the SIAL show. And thanks again for joining us.

Meera Sunny  20:02

Thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure and I always listened to this podcast and I, I'm really so happy and here at the same time, and, -

Sylvain Charlebois  20:11

Good stuff. 

Michael LeBlanc  20:11

Thank you, thank you.

Meera Sunny  20:11

And yeah, what you guys are doing is really great and I hope everybody have a great show and, and come by our booths ask for CanMar, ask for flax, - 

Sylvain Charlebois  20:21

Absolutely. Take care and good luck.

Meera Sunny  20:24

Thank you so much. Have a good day, guys.

Sylvain Charlebois  20:26

Bye bye. 

Michael LeBlanc  20:28

Thanks for joining us on this special bonus episode of The Food Professor. Stay tuned for plenty of great interviews from our podcast studio on the trade show floor in Montreal at SIAL and stay tuned for our regular full-length episodes available on Apple podcast, Spotify, Google, or wherever you enjoy your podcast today.


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