Suntava Purple Corn

Suntava Corp., Afton, MN, the first producer of antioxidant-rich purple corn, is now in partnership with Stiebs, Madera, CA, and Smith Frozen Foods Inc., Weston, OR, which will produce and sell Suntava Purple Corn for individually quick frozen (IQF) freeze-dry kernels, powder and puree applications.

“Stiebs and Smith Frozen Foods are leading natural and functional food producers, and are as committed to maximizing the healthful quality of foods from farm to table as we are,” says Suntava CEO Bill Petrich. “So we’re extremely pleased to partner with them to make the commercialization of these innovative ingredients possible.”

Stiebs co-owners and managers Brad Miller and Jerry Pantaleo agree. “With Stiebs’ decade of experience in high-antioxidant ingredient product manufacturing, we are excited to be working with Suntava and Smith Frozen Foods in bringing these new premium high nutrition products to the market place,” says Miller.

Pantaleo adds, “We’ve already received early interest from our customers in including some of these products. The research Suntava has exercised is second to none in the purple corn development, and we’re looking forward to passing that on in the products we’re creating.”

After processing frozen vegetables for almost 100 years, Smith Frozen Foods is adding purple corn to its mix. “Last summer, our trial planting, harvesting and processing of Suntava Purple Corn with Stiebs was successful,” reports president Gary Crowder. “We look forward to expanding production in 2015. We’ve been looking for innovative companies to partner with to bring new products and concepts to market. Our partnership with Stiebs and Suntava gives us unique products to bring to the market.”

Interest in Suntava Purple Corn continues to grow, as many companies are look for ways to offer more healthful ingredients that are also non-GMO and gluten-free. “One of the things our customers find most attractive is the fact that our product is packed with nutritional benefits that go far beyond the basics of carbohydrates, protein and fat,” according to Terry Howell, Suntava’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Not to mention the color—which enlivens everything it’s in.”

The secret to Suntava Purple Corn’s strikingly vivid purple color is that the entire plant is filled with health-promoting anthocyanins, flavonoids and polyphenols. Originating from ancient strains of Andean maize, Suntava has been cultivating its proprietary strain for more than 20 years.

Howell believes Suntava Purple Corn is an ingredient that helps connect food marketers with customers. “Consumers are aware that antioxidants are a good thing, and they’re happy to be introduced to Nature’s healthiest, highest antioxidant corn,” he says. He cites the example of Cascadian Farm, which recently took its Berry Vanilla Puffs cereal (made with Suntava Purple Corn) nationwide, after test market batches sold out rapidly.