The French government has approved the use of rebaudioside A in food and beverages in France. This approval is the first for an EU market and allows the food and beverage industry to formulate with rebiana, high purity rebaudioside A, for the next two years.
Rebaudioside A is the best-tasting component of the stevia leaf, derived from the small shrub native to South America. Today, the plant is grown on a commercial scale in Asia and South America. The approval is the latest positive affirmation of the safe use of rebiana, a high purity rebaudioside A.
In May 2008 Cargill published the results of the Truvia(TM) rebiana research program in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. This pivotal research is the only peer-reviewed, published safety data sufficient to substantiate the safe use of steviol glycosides*, of which rebaudioside A is one, in food and beverages.
In July 2008, the FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) found steviol glycosides safe for use in food and beverages and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced in December 2008 that it had no objection to the use of rebiana in food and beverages in the United States.
"We welcome the French approval for the use of rebiana. This approval comes after years of research and significant investment by Cargill to establish the safe use of steviol glycosides in food and beverages," said Zanna McFerson, assistant vice president, Cargill Health and Nutrition.
Cargill produces Truvia(TM) rebiana which is currently available in the USA both in a tabletop sweetener and as an ingredient for food and beverage products. With the approval of rebaudioside A, Truvia(TM) sweetener will soon be available to French consumers as a tabletop sweetener and as an ingredient in favourite foods and beverages; further details will be announced later this year.
Truvia(TM) rebiana, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, opens up a whole new range of choices for consumers looking for plant-derived sweetness without calories - this represents an entirely new category of zero-calorie natural sweeteners.
"French consumers will soon be able to purchase Truvia(TM) sweetener the great-tasting, zero calorie sweetener made from the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf. It is an ideal choice for those managing sugars and calories in their lives without sacrificing taste. Cargill is well positioned to meet the demand in France we expect to see with this approval," said McFerson.
The French market for sweeteners is currently worth an estimated euro 56 million. In the USA, since its introduction, Truvia(TM) tabletop sweetener has achieved a 5 percent market share of the sugar substitute category in only eight months.
As a global food ingredient supplier with a presence in 68 countries and 145 years of experience, Cargill provides the food and beverage manufacturers formulating with rebaudioside A the assurance of quality, safety and world-class food application and development capabilities to support successful product innovations.
In 2009, products have launched with Truvia(TM) rebiana as an ingredient. In the USA these first products include; vitaminwater10(TM) beverage, Sprite Green(TM), Odwalla(R) juice, Nature's Splash(R) powdered beverage, True Lemon Naturally Sweet(R) powdered beverage, and Blue Bunny(R) ice cream bars.
The approval of rebaudioside A for use in food and beverages in France is the culmination of a thorough and lengthy review by the Agence Francaise de Securite Sanitaire des Aliment (Afssa) of the safety of rebaudioside A, which resulted in the publication of a positive safety opinion by Afssa on June 19, 2009 and the publication of the legal approval in the Journal Officiel on September 6, 2009.
*Steviol glycosides are the sweet components found in the leaf of the stevia plant.
Truvia(TM) tabletop sweetener is a great tasting, zero calorie sweetener, made with rebiana, derived from the best tasting part of the stevia leaf. Truvia(TM) rebiana is also an ingredient used to sweeten foods and beverages.
For more information, visit www.truvia.com.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 159,000 people in 68 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.