GLG Life Tech Corp. (TSX: GLG), a global leader in the agricultural and commercial development of high-quality natural sweeteners, announces that it has filed a patent with the State Intellectual Property Bureau of the People’s Republic of China for its proprietary process for extraction and production of high purity luo han guo (LHG) extracts as well as luo han guo formulations used in food and beverage applications. The Company also plans to seek International Patent Protection under the Patent Cooperation Treaty for this patent.
The patent filing has two components, the first addresses GLG’s proprietary industrial scale purification processes for LHG and the second addresses LHG formulations. Both components lever our patented and proprietary techniques developed for purification and formulating high purity stevia extract products. GLG expects that its proprietary LHG technology covered in this patent will result in higher yields of mogroside from the fruit and greater purity of extracts. The company is currently capable of producing LHG extracts up to 60 percent mogroside V purity and is working on 70 to 80 percent mogroside V extracts. These products are expected to be the highest available in the marketplace. Formulations in the patent cover a range of formulations including stevia/LHG blends.
Dr. Luke Zhang, GLG chairman and CEO, commented, “We are delighted to make this announcement about our new patent filing. After a concerted effort by the GLG production and technology teams, we are extremely satisfied with our results of higher efficiency in extraction of mogroside from the LHG fruit and superior purification technology that results in higher levels of extract purity and efficiencies in the production process. Customers can expect a better grade of LHG extracts to work with in their food and beverage formulations and efficiencies are expected to drive lower production costs.”
GLG has a strong track record for receiving patents in the People’s Republic of China and previous patents have been awarded in the areas of stevia agriculture, stevia primary and secondary processing, waste water management and formulations.
Dr. Zhang stated that with the LHG business opportunity, “GLG’s goal is to be the vertically integrated leader in luo han guo agriculture and production” within the next few years. The Company has completed the majority of work to establish its fully integrated supply chain for Luo Han Guo including obtaining high quality LHG seedlings, contracting with LHG growers and storage facilities, and developing patent pending processing technology for high purity LHG extract and quality assurance/quality control processes. GLG plans to utilize its Runyang stevia processing facility to produce the extracts. Key remaining activities include the commencement of LHG planting this spring and minor modifications to its Runyang facility to enable LHG production. Production using this year’s LHG crop is expected to start in the third quarter of 2014. GLG is currently working through the US FDA GRAS self-affirmation process for its LHG high purity extract products.