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Feds back spinach-based cosmetics production

A Quebec company planning to extract compounds from organic baby spinach for use in new cosmetics will get up to $2.9 million in federal funding to promote its process.

PureCell Technologies plans to use the funds to build a 10,000-square foot extraction and cosmeceutical manufacturing plant at Montmagny, about 80 km east of Quebec City on the south bank of the St. Lawrence.

The new facility will be used to extract, purify, stabilize and condition the compounds responsible for photosynthesis in baby spinach. These compounds, the government said, have shown anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and have been used to develop cosmeceuticals such as sunscreen lotion and two anti-aging creams.

As part of this project, PureCell also plans to set up a quality management program for Canadian organic spinach producers and is expected to create 20 direct and 60 indirect jobs. Also, the project is expected to generate over $1 million in company revenue in 2009, and over $22 million by 2012.

Furthermore, “this project will help link organic spinach producers to cosmeceutical manufacturers in Canada and other markets,” Levis-Bellechasse MP Steven Blaney said in the government’s release Thursday.

The funding is to flow through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agri-Opportunities Program.

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