US – Food ingredients manufacturer SweeGen has achieved a milestone in the development of its stevia-based sweetener Bestevia Rebaudioside B after the compound received Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status.
The company uses what it calls a proprietary bioconversion technology to produce its stevia-based sweeteners.
It isolates the Bestevia Reb B from plant’s leaves where it is found in trace amounts.
The new offering comes less than a year after SweeGen debuted its Reb I clean label stevia ingredient, targeting dairy, beverage, nutrition bar, confectionery, and savory products. The new addition to the company’s sweetener portfolio is timely as demand for clean-label sugar alternatives that provide the same flavor profile without compromising other attributes like texture, aftertaste, or product formulation.
Stevia is particularly popular among food manufacturers because it offers a naturally derived option to artificial sweeteners and also has some reported health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure. Manufacturers are also opting for natural sugar substitutes now that they are required to list the amount of added sugar on the Nutrition Facts label, further creating demand for stevia-based sweeteners.
With its rapidly expanding stevia-based sugar alternative portfolio, SweeGen is hoping to fill the need for naturally derived sugar substitutes that preserve flavor, texture, and overall composition.
The more options SweeGen offers, the more likely product makers will find a formulation that fits their needs without compromising consumer satisfaction.
For example, SweeGen is targeting the rapidly expanding hard seltzer space with its Reb I sweetener, which can replace up to 3 grams of added sugar per serving.
Finding a suitable swap for real sugar is no small feat. Sugar provides texture, structure, color, and increased shelf-life for products. When it’s replaced with something else, each of those variables can be impacted, and not always for the better.
For instance, stevia presents problems with its tendency to leave a bitter aftertaste. There are also challenges around extracting some of the isolates inside the plant that provide a better flavor profile. SweeGen however prides itself in its use of proprietary technologies to extract glycosides found in the leaf that combat the bitter aftertaste.
It has also announced plans to open four Food and Beverage Application Centers across the globe that will focus on collaborations with ingredient customers to find the right product formulations.