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Ontario corn growers to benefit from federal agribusiness investment

AAFC invests $1 million into Guelph-based Mirexus Biotechnologies

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

A Guelph, Ont.-based business that uses local sweet corn to create a product for the cosmetics industry received a significant investment today from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

AAFC invested $1 million into Mirexus Biotechnologies, which will use the funding to build a manufacturing facility in Guelph.

The facility is expected to create about 70 jobs. And the government investment could go a long way towards reassuring investors that Mirexus is a worthwhile venture, said Phil Whiting, president and CEO of Mirexus.

“The government’s evaluation that this is good investment opportunity gives other investors confidence in our business,” he told today.

Mirexus extracts glycogen from Ontario sweet corn to produce PhytoSpherix, which is currently in use in the cosmetics industry. The product could also be used in vaccines and antibiotics.

Over the next decade, Mirexus will purchase about 4,500 tonnes of local sweet corn.

Having Ontario growers supply the corn used in the product can go a long way toward affirming customer trust, Whiting says.

“We will continue to source all of our sweet corn from local farmers,” he said. “The agriculture industry here is high quality and sophisticated, and the markets we target are primarily driven by the need for safe and natural materials.

“(Our customers) need to know that, from the field to our final product, there’s high-quality farming and processing occurring. It’s easy for us to demonstrate that in Ontario.”