The world’s leading producer and innovator of stevia sweeteners, announces that its recent advances in expanding capacity now enable it to supply significantly more Reb M to global beverage and food companies. Using beverage sweetening as an equivalized example, PureCircle can now supply enough Reb M to sweeten about 500 million cases of zero-calorie carbonated soft drinks. PureCircle continues to build production capacity, and it estimates that three years from now, it could supply enough Reb M to sweeten 1 billion cases of zero-calorie carbonated soft drinks or the equivalent in beverages and foods using Reb M as the sweetener.
PureCircle further estimates that, depending on amounts purchased and terms of purchase, companies buying Reb M from PureCircle will find the cost of using it to sweeten a beverage or food, equivalent to their cost of using sugar to achieve the same level of sweetening.
Reb M is the variant of stevia sweetener which has the most sugar-like taste and which is most sought after by beverage and food companies.
Until now, a challenge has been that Reb M is present only in relatively small amounts in conventional stevia plants. PureCircle has developed a proprietary strain of the stevia plant that it calls Starleaf ™ stevia. Starleaf stevia plants contain greater amounts Reb M than conventional stevia plants, and PureCircle is massively ramping up its planting of Starleaf stevia.
PureCircle produces Reb M both directly from the Starleaf stevia plant and from other stevia sweeteners in the plant. In the latter case, PureCircle starts with purified stevia leaf extract with low Reb M content and by adding an enzyme, the maturation to Reb M is completed, just as the leaf does naturally. Enzymes play a similar role in various products including baby food, cheese, other dairy products and chocolate.
The Reb M produced from the two processes are both from the stevia leaf and are identical in great taste.
All of PureCircle’s stevia sweeteners – produced using either of the above-cited processes — are non-GMO.
In addition, they all are “GRAS.” “GRAS” is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration designation meaning “generally recognized as safe” by experts. That means they can be used by food and beverage companies as ingredients in the U.S. (For information on stevia use in other markets, please contact the PureCircle representatives listed at the bottom of this release.)
A number of beverage and food companies are already using PureCircle’s Reb M in their products. PureCircle’s expansion in production of Reb M will help beverage and food companies obtain supplies of an ingredient they need, as they continue to respond to their consumers’ desires for more zero- and low-calorie products using plant-based sweeteners.
As the result of its innovation, research and development work with stevia, PureCircle has been granted an array of stevia-related patents. These patents – plus additional applied for patents — cover a wide range of stevia-related products and processes. Beyond patents, and further enhancing its broad-based intellectual property, the company has extensive trade secrets and know-how.
PureCircle works with food and beverage companies to make formulation with stevia simple and offers a number of specialized variants and blends of stevia sweeteners designed to work optimally in different consumer product categories.
By way of background, the story of stevia is evolving, and PureCircle is leading that evolution. Not long ago, stevia was a little known, plant-based zero-calorie sweetener – basically one ingredient, Reb A — that worked well in some beverage and food applications. But today, we offer Reb M and other stevia leaf sweetener ingredients with sugar-like taste and zero calories. These from-nature sweeteners — often used in combinations with each other — work well in a wide variety of beverages and foods, and that is advantageous for beverage and food companies. They have an increasing need for just such an ingredient, because consumers, health experts and governments have become increasingly concerned about obesity and diabetes, and consumers have also become increasingly health and wellness conscious.