Puleva Biotech, the biotechnology arm of Spanish food manufacturer Ebro Puleva, has been awarded a financial aid package worth €428,290 (US$521,000) to help it start up a new plant in Granada.

The money comes from the local Andalusia government via the Development Institute of Andalusia (IFA).

Work at the plant will focus on identifying, analysing, producing an selling new probiotic strains. The project will be carried out in two stages, the first includes research in laboratory conditions on the positive effects from the usage of the product, the second envisages pilot manufacturing of the product to optimise production process., reported La Bolsa.

Puleva Biotech registered a 10.7% year-on-year increase in net profit to €362,000 for the first quarter of 2004.