AN OXFORD geography graduate is trying to raise £20,000 to make an energy bar out of 'ancient Mexican blue corn'.

Alexandra Littaye has launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to launch her food business Azure.

The aim of the business is to produce an energy bar from a blue sweetcorn called pinole, eaten by Aztecs centuries ago.

Ms Littaye has said the 'core mission' of the company would be to 'address the glaring deficiencies of a global food system' which she investigated for four years at the Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment.

She explained: "Born from my love for the unpronounceable active volcano Popocatepetl and the people who live on it, these communities are the producers of pinole.

"We’re working hard to ensure Azure benefits directly our producers and their communities.

"That is why we sell directly to our customers: profits that would otherwise go to wholesalers and retailers are redirected to purchasing the manufacturing machines for our producers.

"With this model, our raw producers will own the infrastructure that turns blue corn into Jubáami bars.

"This is how a quarter of what you pay stays in Mexico."

The entrepreneur has already raised £3,500 from 66 funders and is hoping to launch the business properly in spring 2018.

Oxford University is backing the business as its latest spin-out start-up.

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