The Californian company specializes in stabilized rice bran - a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that is normally discarded during rice processing – and has been publicizing its goal to initiate feeding programmes in developing countries. The current agreement however represents NutraCea's expansion towards multinational food companies, within the Mexican market, with its ingredient. "There has been a recent swell of interest for NutraCea's stabilized rice bran as a functional food ingredient by several Mexican companies," said NutraCea senior vice president Margie Adelman, Senior V.P. NutraCea. The agreement will bring the company closer to prolific players in the Mexican market. FX Morales' customers include multinationals Grupo Gamesa (Frito Lay, Pepsico, Quaker, Gatorade) Grupo Bimbo, Grupo Maseca, Kellogg, Nestle, Kraft, Unilever and Bristol Myers Squibb. Adelman highlighted the potential for rice bran to replace other grain ingredients as a functional ingredient in mainstream foods. "Stabilized rice bran is a healthful, gluten-free and economical alternative to corn and other grains that are becoming increasingly more expensive," said Adelman. The supplier claims Mexican food companies have already expressed interest in its functional ingredient, which could have particular relevance within this market and the place corn currently holds within it. "This increased attention was further accelerated in the last several weeks when the Mexican government imposed price controls on tortillas at a time when corn prices were experiencing unprecedented upward movement, placing a tremendous pressure on already narrow margins for the country's main food staple."