| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Innovation + Job News

Suntava sees growth opportunity in purple corn kernels

Most people think of purple corn as a nice decoration in late fall. But when Bill Petrich looks at the dark kernels, he sees growth opportunities.
He's CEO of Suntava, a company founded to use plant-based ingredients in new ways. Petrich signed on to helm the firm after reading the founders' business plan. He says, "It's a fascinating idea. I offered to advise them at no charge just to learn more about it, and the more I got involved, the more I saw that this is a venture that could change lives for decades to come. It's game-changing."
Derived from a non-GMO purple corn hybrid, Suntava's signature extract can be utilized in a number of ways. Most notably, the corn can produce a natural coloring source that can act as an alternative to the popular Red Dye 40, found in many products.
Synthetic dye is made from petroleum, and several studies have pointed out health risks associated with its use, Petrich says. Consumers are demanding more natural sources, and he believes that Suntava is a good fit for that market shift.
The company is also able to produce whole grains and nutraceuticals (foods with health benefits) that can be used in dietary supplements, cosmetics, and foods like corn chips and cereals. The high anti-oxidant level of the corn makes it even more attractive as an ingredient and food additive.
Although the corn isn't organic now, that's a direction in which Suntava may go in the future. For now, Petrich notes that using the corn creates a sustainable system: "With this product, we're not disrupting the food chain, we're enhancing it. We're getting more out of an acre of land in every way. And in the process, we're producing what's essentially the next superfood. That's pretty exciting."
Source: Bill Petrich, Suntava
Writer: Elizabeth Millard
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts