Ingredion and Amyris partner up on a fermented Reb M sweetener19 May 2021
Ingredion and Amyris struck a $100 million deal that makes Ingredion the exclusive global licensing partner for Amyris’ Rebaudioside M stevia sweetener, according to a press release. The price tag includes $75 million for the exclusive license to sell and market Reb M from fermentation.
In addition to commercializing the synthetic sweetener alternative, the agreement gives Ingredion a minority ownership stake in the Amyris Brazilian manufacturing facility. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
Beyond partnering to produce products that currently exist, the two ingredients manufacturers will also enter into an R&D collaboration agreement to create and advance the development of sustainably sourced, zero-calorie, nature-based sweeteners. According to the release, the agreement between the two companies will also allow them to focus on other types of fermentation-based food ingredients.
As consumers continue to look to reduce their sugar intake, Ingredion has been investing heavily in stevia, and it has even stated that sugar reduction is one of its core growth areas, so it's no surprise that the company is looking to stevia to build its sweetener alternative portfolio.
In 2019, Ingredion's annual report showed that sugar reduction made up 36% of the company's net sales. But to continue growing that proportion, the company took a 75% majority stake in PureCircle last year, which also has a Reb M glycoside. In a statement, Ingredion’s CEO Jim Zallie noted that this latest deal with Amyris complements the portfolio that the company gained through PureCircle. “Our partnership with Amyris positions Ingredion well to meet our customers’ increasing demand for quality ingredients that will drive transformational change in the food industry,” he said.
Mintel research from 2018 showed 87% of shoppers are limiting the amount of sugar in their diet. That same year, product launches using stevia as a sweetener increased 31% over 2017. Since then, the popularity of stevia has held strong. Mordor Intelligence expects the stevia market to grow 8.43% from 2021 to 2026 with North America being the fastest-growing market.
However, stevia as a sweetener has been dogged by its reputation as an alternative with a bad aftertaste. Reb M is one extraction from the stevia plant that minimizes that trait. By partnering with Amyris, Ingredion is increasing the number of alternatives using the desirable Reb M that it has access to. What makes this particular choice different from the Reb M that it already has in its portfolio is the method with which it is produced.
Amyris uses fermentation – an increasingly popular method in ingredients manufacturing – to produce its stevia. Using yeast and non-GMO sugar cane, the company converts the sugar into the correct stevia molecule in a process that the company says is cheaper than extraction.
This new collaboration pairs Amyris’ deep knowledge of R&D and science with Ingredion’s global reach and well-known brand. As such, it allows each to tap the expertise of the other, which may, in time, lead to further collaborations and perhaps even an acquisition.
New Nordic nutrition guidelines emphasise plant-based eating
11 Jul 2023
Nordic scientists and experts are now recommending that people should consume less meat and more plants for both their health and the health of the planet.Read more
Manufacturers await groundbreaking aspartame safety review
10 Jul 2023
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is preparing to release its findings on whether the sweetener aspartame is a possible carcinogen.Read more
How to revive stagnating plant-based meat sales
6 Jul 2023
Sales of plant-based meat are stagnating, products are being withdrawn, and brands are declaring bankruptcy – but Rabobank’s RaboResearch has identified five strategies that could help revive the category, and precision fermentation could be an NPD gam...Read more
WHO advises non-sugar sweeteners have no nutritional value
31 May 2023
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against using non-sugar sweeteners for weight control or lowering the risk of non-communicable diseases.Read more
Singapore startup uses jack fruit and banana blossom for plant-based products
15 May 2023
Singapore-based startup Jungle Kitchen has entered the vegan food market with its range of foods that include regional ingredients such as jack fruit, banana blossom, and cobra chili.Read more
Peruvian healthy brand keeps prices low with artificial intelligence
12 May 2023
Nutri Co uses artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce product formulation time, allowing it to offer healthy products with local ingredients at a low cost, serving the price-sensitive Peruvian market.Read more
Asian food brands embrace upcycled ingredients
10 May 2023
A growing number of Asian food and drink brands are using upcycled ingredients, such as soy okara, banana stems, and broken rice, as a source of sustainable nutrition for their products.Read more
High-sugar Bournvita in the spotlight over misleading health claims
9 May 2023
Mondelēz-owned chocolate drink brand Bournvita has become embroiled in a legal spat with an Indian social media influencer who questioned the purported healthiness of the high-sugar product.Read more
Israel approves Remilk’s animal-free dairy
8 May 2023
The Israeli Ministry of Health has approved precision fermentation startup Remilk’s animal-free dairy whey protein, meaning its ingredients can now be marketed and sold in Israel.Read more
Scientific review calls for added sugar intake to be halved
3 May 2023
A recent British Medical Journal (BMJ) review advises people to cut intake of added sugars to six teaspoons a day but industry group The Sugar Association has slammed the quality of data used in the review as “garbage”.Read more