WAYZATA, Minn., May 15, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In response to strong consumer demand for a natural, zero-calorie way to sweeten foods and beverages, Cargill today introduced TRUVIA(TM) brand (pronounced Tru-VEE-a) natural sweetener, a great-tasting, zero-calorie sweetener made from rebiana, the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf. TRUVIA(TM) natural sweetener will provide consumers with a new, natural way to reduce calories in their diet while still enjoying sweet-tasting foods and beverages.
"TRUVIA(TM) natural sweetener is a breakthrough new ingredient. This is a significant milestone for Cargill's emerging zero calorie sweetener business with application across food, beverage and tabletop products. We have spent more than two years validating the consumer demand for this new sweetener. Soon consumers will recognize TRUVIA(TM) for quality and great taste, delivering the first natural, zero calorie sweetness people have been asking for," said Marcelo Montero, president, Cargill Health & Nutrition.
Beginning in Nature
TRUVIA(TM) rebiana begins with a leaf. Leaves from the stevia plant, a shrub native to Paraguay and today commercially grown in China, are harvested and dried, then steeped in fresh water in a process similar to that of making tea. This process unlocks the best-tasting part of the leaf, which is then purified to make a food-grade sweet ingredient. The finished product is the pure sweetness of rebiana, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar. TRUVIA(TM) natural sweetener has a clean, sweet taste that is consistent as an ingredient for food and beverages.
"This new, natural sweetener leverages Cargill's expertise in specialty food ingredients, agronomy, food science and safety as well as consumer insight and marketing capabilities," said Steve Snyder, vice president, Cargill Health & Nutrition. "The company is positioned to manage the development of this new sweetener from the first plantings in the field to formulation for foods and beverages, all the way to the product that will sweeten your morning coffee."
Scientific Studies Supporting Truvia(TM) Natural Sweetener
Research published electronically today in the peer-reviewed, scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology clearly establishes the safety of rebiana for use as a natural, zero-calorie sweetener in food and beverages. A rigorous safety evaluation program - the first of its kind to evaluate rebiana - addressed unresolved questions and verified the safety of the product for use as a general purpose sweetener. The research program included metabolism, safety, intake, stability and human studies that complement the body of previously published research on purified steviol glycosides, the sweet components of the stevia leaf.
Background on Stevia
The stevia plant has been grown, harvested and used in South America to sweeten foods and beverages for more than 200 years. The plant was discovered by the Guarani natives of Paraguay who used its leaves to sweeten drinks. In 1931, two French food-researchers isolated the sweet components of the stevia leaf.
Consumers in Japan have been using stevia commercially for more than three decades, and today, stevia represents 40 percent of the country's low- or zero-calorie sweetener market.
Because rebiana begins with a leaf, supply is contingent upon the strength of the stevia crop. Over many years, Cargill has built a strong and consistent stevia supply chain in anticipation of launching TRUVIA(TM) natural sweetener, and has a dedicated staff on the ground and partner companies in key regions around the world supervising production and ensuring good stewardship of land and water. Today, one stevia plant yields enough rebiana for 30 six-ounce cups of coffee.
About TRUVIA(TM) Natural Sweetener
TRUVIA(TM) natural sweetener is a great-tasting, natural, zero-calorie product, made from rebiana, the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., Cargill is a privately held international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. As a global leader in nourishing people, Cargill offers a wide range of sweetness solutions based on consumer demand and tastes. With 158,000 employees in 66 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed. For more information about Cargill, visit: www.cargill.com.