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Feds support innovative Delta company

$1.1 million investment made in Mazza Innovation's cutting edge food extract technology
Mazza Innovation Ltd. president Benjamin Lightburn gives Delta MP Carla Qualtrough a tour of the Delta facility Tuesday.

The federal government is giving another boost to a Delta-based company whose innovative technology could forever change the additives in our food products.

Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, on behalf of Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Lawrence MacAulay, was at Mazza Innovation Tuesday to announce a $1.1 million investment to enable the plant extract facility on Progress Way to expand. It's a repayable investment under the government's Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program.

The company, started by Joe Mazza, relocated to Delta a year ago. It specializes in producing plant extracts using healthy and clean technologies. The bioactive compounds extracted can be used as ingredients for functional foods, dietary supplements and beauty products.

Juice companies are already taking advantage.

"Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada developed a unique technology to extract the healthy compounds in fruits in an environmental friendly way, using simple water," said Qualtrough.

"Dr. Mazza licensed the patent from the department and, in the space of five short years, he's taken the science from the lab and made it into a technology used in the marketplace. Consumers around the world will now be able to benefit from the healthy products developed from this cutting-edge, sustainable technology."

Noting it's a made-in-Canada solution that will also help farmers, Benjamin Lightburn, president of Mazza Innovation Ltd., said their product comes from biomass provided by farms, mainly non-edible byproducts from corn husks, cranberries and blueberries, and uses water to create extracts.

Those extracts are different in that they aren't created from toxic organic solvents, which is the current method.

Lightburn said companies making extracts the old way should be worried about the new healthy technology.

Company chief financial officer Sean Hodgins said their crystalized extracts has a market that will continue to grow, especially for health conscious consumers looking to boost nutrients in their diets.

The company received an earlier $300,000 federal research and development investment.