Purple corn in hot demand

Purple corn in hot demand

Suntava Purple Corn has double the antioxidant level of blueberries and is non-GMO and gluten free.

The Suntava booth at the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) and International Baking Industry (IBIE) expos was crowded with people eager to get a firsthand look at corn. Not just any corn, but startlingly bright purple corn, from kernel to stalk.

The secret to its unusual color is that the entire plant is filled with anthocyanins. So much so, that ounce-for-ounce, Suntava Purple Corn has double the antioxidant level of blueberries. Cultivated over years from ancient strains of maize, it’s also non-GMO and gluten free. 

Interest surrounding the wide potential in applications for this new superfood has been building for months. In addition to its current cornmeal/flour offering, Suntava launched a whole grain snack meal ingredient for use in items such as extruded cheese puffs, curls and other corn-based extruded snacks. Suntava also unveiled a grits product, which is ideally suited for snacks such as popped tortilla-shaped chips or other whole grain-based popped snacks.

“The excitement we’re seeing is coming from all levels of industry—from the billion dollar international companies to the smaller independents. And as they realize the opportunities from the many applications available, they’re lining up,” said Terry Howell, Suntava’s business development director. “We’re truly grateful that our message is being heard and acted upon; it’s a great feeling.”

Suntava believes its purple corn is also a potential game-changer for food marketers. “Including this highly nutritional, unique-yet-familiar ingredient creates the opportunity to add a product benefit message that connects with health-conscious consumers,” says Howell. The potential of this versatile, highly-nutritional and free radical-busting product is about to have its day.


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