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Food & Beverage Perspectives

PureCircle Extends Stevia Line with Zeta Family

<p>The company, a leading supplier of stevia globally, is rolling out a line of ingredients based on a different set of stevia glycosides that could permit no-calorie food and beverage applications without the off-tastes that have hampered growth in this area.</p>

OAK BROOK, Ill.—While consumers are interested in natural and low-calorie, new product development featuring stevia ingredients has been somewhat hampered by the challenge of off taste contributed by the plant’s glycosides. However, PureCircle believes its investment in stevia plant breeding to increase levels of more sugar-like glycosides—such as Reb M and Reb D—is about to pay off for formulators.

The company today announced it has developed the Zeta™ family of ingredients, designed to allow formulators to move from mid-calorie products to zero-calorie without being hampered by off tastes. John Martin, PureCircle’s global director of technical development and innovation, said the Zeta line was developed to allow formulators to deliver a clean, sweet taste at a very low or no calorie level, and will be available for use in a range of food and beverage applications. He said the first products, the Zeta LE offerings, will be rolling out fairly quickly in the new year, likely with an initial focus in the beverage area, where it has been challenging to get to a 10 Brix sweetness equivalent.

In a statement, Jordi Ferre, PureCircle’s COO, commented: “We are now growing stevia varieties that contain over 20 times the amount of rare steviol glycosides versus other leaf available on the market. We are proud to advance our commitment to supporting thousands of stevia farmers and be the only company to offer these innovative ingredients to our customers."

Martin added that different applications and specific ingredients will be made available as regulatory approvals are achieved. And while the initial launch will be focused in the United States, global release is under consideration, again pending regulatory review.

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