The sweetener is produced via SweeGen’s patented ‘bioconversion’ process, which begins with stevia leaf extracts, and then uses enzymes* to convert them to specific target molecules (such as Reb B).
“Bestevia Reb B performs great in beverages because it is highly soluble, non-caloric and 150 times sweeter than sucrose,” said Shari Mahon, EVP application technology at SweeGen.
“Reb B, like Reb M, is only found in trace amounts in the leaf,” Luca Giannone, senior vice president of sales, told FoodNavigator-USA. “While Reb B is not a new glycoside, it is a strong addition to any sugar reduction toolkit. With many interesting characteristics, such as good solubility and zero calories, we are very excited about adding it to our portfolio of next generation stevia sweeteners."
Asked whether Reb B would work well as a standalone sweetener in a beverage or in combination with other steviol glycosides, he said: “Both are possible. All trace Rebs, such as M and B are sweet but have different flavor profiles in applications… Depending on our customers’ challenges, we offer end-to-end concept development, product renovation, customized nature-based solutions and other expert services to develop winning products.”
Regulatory work is underway to earn FDA GRAS status and The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) acceptance, added Hadi Omrani, director of technical and regulatory affairs.
“We want to share Bestevia Reb B globally. Our vision is to make it commercially accessible to all food and beverage manufacturers in the world, as we aim toward regulatory approvals in every market.”
*from a genetically engineered yeast.