History: Armed with a doctorate in plant breeding and genetics, Torbert Rocheford started naturally selecting varieties of orange corn to help alleviate malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s as part of an international humanitarian effort. Rocheford, a professor at Purdue University since 2009, used a process known as biofortification to naturally increase the amount of antioxidant carotenoids in corn, making it more nutritious than yellow or white corn and giving it a distinct orange color. He and his son founded NutraMaize to commercialize the corn.
About the corn: The bright orange corn, which is derived from varieties that originated in South America and the Caribbean, is designed to be milled into cornmeal, grits and polenta, rather than eaten off the cob. It is described as having a rich, buttery, nutty flavor.
Popular products: Polenta-grind grits, cornmeal, orange flour.
Retail outlets: Upland Brewery, Bistro 501 Market and Deli in Lafayette, Rail Café & Market in Westfield, Gallery Pastry Shop in Indianapolis, Bourbon & Butcher in Mishawaka, Rachel’s Taste of Indiana in Converse, The Elm Restaurant in Bloomington, D&R Market in Lafayette
Also available through: Piazza Produce, Market Wagon, Amazon
Headquarters: Based in West Lafayette, Professor Torbert’s Orange Corn is grown locally by a family farmer and milled in Rochester.