Evolva Holding SA (SIX:EVE) announced that its patent application (WO 2014122227) on a process to efficiently and sustainably produce next-generation sweeteners via fermentation, including Rebaudioside M (Reb M), has now published. The patent application was originally filed on Feb. 6, 2013.
The ability to produce a Reb M sweetener via fermentation opens up the potential to significantly improve the flavor profile of these important zero-calorie sweeteners, especially at higher usage levels.
The best tasting and sweetest parts of the stevia leaf, such as Reb M, make up only a tiny portion of the leaf (less than 1 percent). By producing Reb M using fermentation, Cargill and Evolva can produce the desired sweetness at a scale and cost that is not feasible through extraction of Reb M from the stevia leaf.
For food and beverage producers, Reb M offers a number of commercially important advantages. It will enable them to formulate better tasting products with less sugar, it will aid them in reaching their product cost targets, and will allow for scalability, which is difficult via the leaf.
Neil Goldsmith, Evolva CEO, commented, “This breakthrough will allow consumers all over the world to enjoy products using Reb M at a commercially viable price. This patent application forms part of our ever-expanding IP portfolio on steviol glycosides, which we are confident is the most extensive, and the most commercially significant in this space.”
David Henstrom, vice president for health ingredients, Cargill, added: “We are pleased about the prospects of being able to deliver zero-calorie, great tasting sweeteners. At a time when obesity rates continue to rise globally, we are working with food and beverage manufacturers to allow them to formulate a vast array of reduced sugar products with Reb M, which is one of the best tasting steviol glycoside sweeteners.”
Cargill and Evolva announced in late 2013 that their development project to produce great tasting fermentation-based steviol glycosides had moved into pilot scale ahead of schedule; on May 21, 2014, the companies announced that a key technical milestone had been met.