Corn, or maize, is the world’s most consumed staple food that, along with rice and wheat, comprises nearly half of all human food consumption.
With this in mind, Purdue professor Torbert Rocheford set out on a mission in the 1990s to find a way to make corn more nutritious through natural selection, a process called biofortification. His main focus was on providing vitamin A-rich corn for sub-Saharan Africa.
Wanting to bring this healthier corn to the United States, Torbert and his son Evan co-founded NutraMaize in 2015. Torbert handles the corn breeding, while Evan serves as the company’s CEO.
The nutritional boost from this “Orange Corn” comes from increased levels of natural antioxidant pigments called carotenoids — the same compounds that gives carrots their orange color and health benefiting reputation.
Non-GMO Orange Corn is now grown in more than 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States, NutraMaize grows its Orange Corn in Indiana with a farmer near Rushville, about 50 miles outside of Indianapolis.