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PureCircle Reb D stevia can push soda sucrose cuts ‘well beyond’ 30%

By Ben Bouckley+

10-Jul-2013

Picture Credit: Dustin Ginetz
Picture Credit: Dustin Ginetz

PureCircle insists it newly GRAS-approved stevia-based sweetener Rebaudioside D can deliver ‘great tasting products’ well beyond a 30% threshold typically associated with Rebaudioside A alone.

In November 2012, for instance, Tate & Lyle told us that beverage manufacturers had mostly used earlier generation stevia ingredients to cut sugar levels by 30% before encountering taste issues.

Tate & Lyle said then that its new Tasteva stevia could be used to halve sucrose levels without running into difficulties regarding stevia’s bitter, liquorice-like aftertaste.

Yesterday, PureCircle revealed that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had issued a ‘no objection’ GRAS letter allowing beverage brands to use Reb D in US product launches.

Pure Circle predicts ‘rapid adoption’ by market

Jason Hecker, VP global marketing and innovation, PureCircle, told BeverageDaily.com today: “Depending on the application and concept, our Stevia 3.0 formulation approach yields great-tasting solutions well beyond the 30% reduction.”

“Our latest formulation is focused on driving deeper reductions in formulations with higher sweetness levels,” Hecker added. “We are confident that we have the tools to deliver great-tasting products well beyond 30% reduction.”

Asked when PureCircle expects the first Reb D product to launch in the States, Hecker said the firm expected “rapid adoption” by the market but would not share finished product launch timings.

The ingredients firm counts both PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company among its customers.

Global commercialization plan

PureCircle said its January 2013 GRAS notification submission to the FDA that it was unlikely that Reb D would be used as the sole sweetener in all products, due to its higher price versus other steviol glycosides, and would likely be blended with these to attain the desired taste profile.

Given that PureCircle has indicated (in its GRAS notice) the suitability of Reb D for use in carbonates, and notably cola carbonates, did Hecker believe this would be the first and major usage category?

Although he said the firm anticipated its use in a wide range of products, given its clean taste profile Reb D allowed customers to develop naturally sweetened formulations with “very low to no calories, particularly in foods and beverages with higher sweetness levels, such as carbonated soft drinks”.

Hecker declined to specify where else in the world PureCircle is seeking regulatory approval for the sweetener.

“We will commercialize Reb D across global markets over time. Given the varying regulatory requirements globally, additional approvals may be required to fully take advantage of Reb D’s benefits in some markets,” he said.

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