PureCircle Announces Exclusive Global Strategic Collaboration with Firmenich on All-Natural Zero-Calorie Sweetener

PureCircle (LSE:PURE), the world’s leading developer, producer and marketer of high-purity Rebaudioside A (Reb A), the first all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener, announced today an exclusive global strategic collaboration with Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and flavor company, to accelerate the commercialization of Reb A in the global food and beverage industry.

PureCircle, is the world’s largest supplier of high-purity Reb A, which can be used as a key ingredient in mainstream food and beverages.

In December 2008, PureCircle announced that the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had issued a no objection letter with respect to high-purity Reb A, formally giving high-purity Reb A Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status for use in beverages, foods and tabletop sweeteners, either as a complement to sugar or as a healthy substitute for synthetic sweeteners. The FDA’s response effectively opened the United States, the world’s largest market, for high-purity Reb A to be adopted as a key ingredient in mainstream food and beverage production and across entire product ranges. Food and drink manufacturers in the United States are already using high-purity Reb A as a sweetener ingredient.

Firmenich has developed innovative flavor systems for Reb A, which will be rolled out across food and beverage applications. Under the terms of the collaboration, Firmenich and PureCircle will combine to offer natural flavor and sweetening solutions to category leaders in the global food and beverage market.

Commenting on the collaboration, Magomet Malsagov, Chief Executive Officer of PureCircle, said:

"Health and wellness is at the top of our customers’ innovation agenda as they increasingly respond to consumer demand for healthier food and beverage products. The all-natural and calorie-free sweetener, Reb A, is seen as providing that solution.”

“Combining Firmenich's world-class flavor ability and global reach, with the groundbreaking low calorie, natural sweetening that Reb A provides, is a major event in the food and beverage industry. Calorie reduction is a major development platform in all key application areas.”

Patrick Firmenich, CEO of Firmenich, added:

“Reducing sugar in food and beverage products, while maintaining consumer preference, is one of the biggest challenges in our business today. By combining PureCircle’s know-how in Reb A with Firmenich’s expertise in sweetness enhancement and flavor masking, I believe that we can fulfill consumer desires for great tasting, low sugar, low calorie foods and beverages.”

INQUIRIES

PureCircle Tel: +60 3 2093 9333
Magomet Malsagov, Chief Executive Tel: +60 123 888 049
William Mitchell, Group Finance Director Tel: +44 7974 005163
Peter Milsted, Sales & Marketing Director
Jordi Ferre, U.S. General Manager Tel: +33 61222 0499
Tel: +1 217 877 3791

Quiet Light Communications
Kitty Kevin Tel: 815 398 6860

Firmenich
Karen Saddler, VP Communication [email protected]

Notes to editors

About high-purity Reb A
High-purity Reb A is the world’s first all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener derived from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant. For more on Reb A visit www.Reb-A.com

About PureCircle
PureCircle (LSE:PURE) is the world’s leading producer of high-purity Rebaudioside A (Reb A), with a vertically integrated supply chain operating in three continents. PureCircle markets a range of natural sweeteners internationally. Activities range from the sourcing of dry stevia leaves and extraction, refining of high-purity Reb A into sweeteners and marketing of these sweeteners to food and beverage manufacturers worldwide.

PureCircle’s extraction plant can produce 1000 MT of stevia extract annually, which is currently the world’s largest extraction facility. This is set to increase to 4000 MT in March 2009. The Company has built the world’s largest state-of-the-art refining plant in Malaysia. This currently produces 1000 MT of high purity Reb A and work has started to double this capacity to 2000 MT. The Company’s production facilities operate in compliance with cGMP, HACCP and ISO standards.

During 2008, PureCircle announced contract extensions with Cargill and major new contracts with PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener Company for the supply of high-purity Reb A in beverages, foods and tabletop sweeteners worldwide including the exclusive license to market PureViaTM Reb A as a ingredient (PureVia™ is a trademark of PepsiCo Inc. and Whole Earth Sweetener Company LLC: see www.purevia.com).

In December 2008, PureCircle announced that the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had issued a no objection letter with respect to high-purity Reb A, formally giving high-purity Reb A Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status for use in mainstream beverages, foods and tabletop sweeteners, either as a complement to sugar or as a healthy substitute for synthetic sweeteners. Other stevia extract ingredients do not have GRAS status in the United States.

PureCircle’s investment in research and development has given it a leadership position in the manufacture of high-purity Reb A, and their scientists are globally recognized experts in their field.

The Company works with independent farmers in Thailand, China, Paraguay, Laos and Kenya to grow the best quality stevia leaf. PureCircle works closely with communities in each of these countries and endeavors to maximize the social, economic and environmental benefits of its operations.

PureCircle’s corporate offices are located in New Jersey, USA; Asuncion, Paraguay; Geneva, Switzerland; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Ganzhou, China and Kericho, Kenya.

PureCircle is listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM market under the ticker symbol: PURE

For more information on PureCircle visit: www.purecircle.com

About Firmenich

Firmenich is the world’s largest privately owned company (No.2 worldwide) in the flavor and fragrance business. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, it has created many of the world’s best-known flavors and perfumes that we enjoy each day. Its passion for smell and taste is at the heart of its success. It is renowned for its creativity and innovation, as well as its exceptional understanding of consumer trends. Each year, it invests around 10% of its turnover in R&D, reflecting its continuous desire to understand, share and sublimate the best of nature’s offering. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 2.8 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2008.

For more information on Firmenich visit: http://www.firmenich.com

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