Following JECFA approval, PureCircle by Ingredion is now able to sell Reb M and a range of proprietary blends from its bioconversion process as well as from fermentation, in addition to the existing stevia sweetener and taste modifier portfolio offered across South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries.
Most stevia varieties contain minor quantities of naturally occurring Reb M, which makes it difficult to sustainably scale the ingredient. With increasing demand for Reb M and other novel steviol glycosides, the company has invested in production technologies, including bioconversion and fermentation, with the aim of delivering more cost-effective sustainable solutions to manufacturers. It can offer all three Reb M technologies and sources to scale, either alone or in combination with the rest of their proprietary portfolio of sweeteners and flavour modifiers.
The company says its bioconversion process mirrors the plant’s natural ingredient production process.
Through a joint venture with Amyris, Ingredion has exclusive access to Amyris’s Reb M produced via fermentation. The product is made through a patented fermenting process, which converts sugarcane into a high purity, no calorie sweetener. The result is a simple, sweet taste with no bitter aftertaste. Fermentation is a low-input, low-waste manufacturing process and the ‘vinasse’ from fermentation is recycled as a fertilizer for the sugarcane fields.
Sue Bancroft, PureCircle EMEA, commented: “With three technologies, extract, bioconversion and fermentation, available to produce Reb M, PureCircle’s range of plant-based, stevia leaf sweeteners and flavour modifiers is the most comprehensive range available. The technologies enable us to scale up these processes and offer sustainable sourcing and favourable cost in use according to customer, sweetening targets, application needs and budgets. PureCircle has long supported food and beverage formulators across the region, committed to formulating a complete and balanced sugar reduction solution that consumers love. Having the three options now available in large parts of Africa and the Middle East, will enable more manufacturers in the region to develop cost effective, naturally sourced reduced-sugar solutions.”