SweeGen expands its stevia portfolio with new Reb N

28 Jan 2021

Stevia manufacturer SweeGen commercialized its newest steviol glycoside Bestevia Reb N. The company says the zero-calorie sweetener has a “unique sensory profile” that makes it especially attractive for beverage applications, which is an application space that has already been exclusively licensed out.

Reb N has a “taste profile closer to both full-calorie and high intensity sweeteners,” Shari Mahon, SweeGen’s senior vice president of global application technology said in a release. This new non-GMO, high-purity stevia option adds to the company’s growing portfolio, which saw the introduction of Reb I last November, to include Bestevia Rebs M, E, I, and now Reb N.

SweeGen expands its stevia portfolio with new Reb N

Traditionally stevia has been a popular alternative sweetener that has been associated with a bitter aftertaste that has pushed manufacturers to produce cleaner tasting versions of this natural alternative. SweeGen has diligently worked to produce high purity extracts in order to minimize this off taste, but pure steviol glycosides have proven to be difficult to isolate due to the expense associated with extracting the trace amounts that are found on stevia leaves. Through the use of patented bioconversion technology, the company says it has reduced the cost associated with this process in order to expand access to these high-purity Rebs.

Now, “Our solutions are one of the most unique and tailored in the industry because of our access to the widest range of Rebs for sugar reduction,” Mahon said in a statement.

Having a large selection of stevia-based sugar reduction options is likely to prove beneficial for SweeGen. A report from FMCG found that 66% of consumers prefer natural sweeteners to artificial alternatives. With such demand for natural solutions, stevia has rapidly gained popularity. In 2018, the growth rate was triple that in 2017 with the number of new global product launches containing the ingredient increasing 31%.

In fact, the demand for stevia grew so significantly, that the natural sweetener alternative has become an acquisition target for companies looking to drive growth and have access to an alternative that can be introduced into their own formulations to create better-for-you alternatives. Recently, Ingredion acquired PureCircle and Tate & Lyle acquired the stevia producer Sweet Green Fields.

However, stevia is not the only popular sugar reduction method on the market. Other natural solutions include stevia, monk fruit, erythritol and allulose. Yet other opportunities exist in reducing the overall quantity of sugar in a product.

Food tech startup Better Juice focuses on reducing sugar by convert fructose, glucose, and sucrose into prebiotic dietary fibers and other non-digestible molecules. Currently, the company is focusing on using its technology to reduce the sugar in orange juice by 80% to create low-calorie, reduced-sugar products without sweeteners or other additives used to replace the sugars. Israel-based DouxMatok is working to forge partnerships with manufacturers to help them reduce the sugar quantity in products by 40%.

SweeGen is aware of the myriad of sugar reduction technologies on the market and has expanded its reach through other avenues, opening regional innovation centers last year to work with manufacturers to develop reduced sugar product alternatives that reflect local tastes. With yet another option in its arsenal, SweeGen is further investing into innovation and better-for-you products that it hopes to continue to grow.

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