North Carolina’s biotechnology industry is about to get a little bigger.

CMS Food Solutions, which has developed proprietary food safety technology, will open a $4.4 million manufacturing facility in the Brunswick County community of Leland. The firm is based in Danbury, CT.

The plant will employ 52 people. It is expected to open next year. Salaries will average $43,115 plus benefits.

Gov. Bev Perdue announced the company’s decision Thursday.

North Carolina already has one of the largest biotech sectors in the U.S. with more than 50,000 workers.

CMS will receive a $32,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund. Such grants require a local match.

The firm also has a manufacturing plant in Texas.

Its products focus on preservation of fruits and vegetables from pathogens and spoilage.

One of its products is called G-99 Produce Wash. The company’s website says it “is made from a revolutionary patent pending technology that safely delivers superior antimicrobial properties with ingredients commonly used in the food industry. G-99™ combines the safety of a FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) approved product with the strength to eradicate harmful pathogenic bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella, and listeria, while significantly increasing the shelf life of the produce itself.”

“CMS Foods is committed to making foods safer for consumers,” said CMS Chairman and co-founder Jim Burns in a statement. “G-99, our revolutionary produce wash, is the most advanced product available for the control of food-borne bacteria. We had multiple considerations in looking for a new site, and Leland – from our standpoint – was a home run. The work force here, location, research conducted in North Carolina’s universities, and the emphasis on an eco-friendly manufacturing environment, all played a significant part in our decision. We couldn’t be happier with the selection, and look forward to being a great corporate neighbor, and an important part of the North Carolina community.”

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