PureCircle, the world’s leading producer and marketer of high purity stevia products welcomes the final approval of the EU Commission’s Regulation to authorize the use of steviol glycosides in foods and beverages in the European Union.
Jordi Ferre, President Commercial Division for PureCircle Limited stated, “This is a very important day for the stevia industry, food and beverage manufacturers and consumers in Europe. Stevia, the no-calorie, natural sweetener, will play an important role in addressing consumer interest in healthier diets and sustainable ingredients, as well as to help offset rising commodity costs for our customers.”
The regulation permitting the sale and use of steviol glycosides has now been published in the Official Journal of the European Union as of November 12th. Twenty calendar days following this publication date, the regulation will enter into force and will be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in the EU Member States, allowing for sale of products formulated with steviol glycosides as early as December 2nd.
Food and Beverages sweetened with stevia are increasingly being launched around the world, from dairy to beverages to confections. France, which allowed for an interim approval of high purity stevia extract Reb A in 2009, has enjoyed rapid growth in consumer awareness, behind successful new product launches. In the latest research study by the PureCircle Insights Group, awareness of the sweetener among the general population had already reached 47% by July 2011.
“PureCircle and our customers have been preparing for some time in anticipation of European approval. Our entire line of stevia ingredients, including our recent launch of breakthrough sweetener PureCircle Alpha, fully meets EU specifications. With our portfolio of solutions and our broad reach through joint ventures with leaders in the sugar industry, including Nordzucker and Tereos, we are fully prepared for a new exciting stage of stevia development in Europe,” stated Jason Hecker, VP Global Marketing and Innovation for PureCircle Limited.
PureCircle (www.purecircle.com) is the global leader in the production of high purity stevia products. PureCircle is leading the industry with the development of a vertically integrated, sustainable and natural supply chain. Stevia is now being grown for PureCircle across South America, Africa, Asia, and the United States where it provides a sustainable cash crop for rural farming communities in each region. PureCircle has developed a broad portfolio of ingredient solutions and has pioneered such ingredients as Reb A, SG95, stevia/sugar combinations and recently introduced breakthrough ingredient PureCircle Alpha for deeper calorie reductions. The company has also brought to market PureCircle Flavors, which were developed to enhance flavour and sweetness of other stevia sweeteners, sugar and HFCS. PureCircle has extended its reach through joint venture partnerships with leaders in the sugar industry, including Imperial Sugar in the US to create Natural Sweet Ventures, as well as Tereos and Nordzucker in Europe to create Tereos PureCircle Solutions and NPSweet A/S. As part of its leadership of the stevia industry, PureCircle has pioneered the industry trust mark Stevia PureCircle®, which educates consumers about the benefits of stevia and provides a strong base of trust for both consumers and food & beverage companies alike. The company has also developed the Global Stevia Institute (globalsteviainstitute.com) led by a global advisory board of internationally recognized health professionals with the mission of promoting accurate, science based information on stevia. PureCircle’s global headquarters are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. PureCircle shares are traded on the LSE AIM index.
Stevia is a no calorie, natural sweetener from the plant Stevia Rebaudiana. The stevia plant is native to South America and has been used for centuries as a sweetening ingredient. Stevia leaves are brewed like tea to extract steviol glycosides, the sweet components of the plant. One of the best-tasting and sweetest of all the steviol glycosides is high purity Rebaudioside-A (Reb-A), which can be up to 400 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia can be found in hundreds of food products from around the world, including teas, soft drinks, juices, yogurt, soymilk, baked goods, cereals, salad dressings, confections and as a tabletop sweetener. The safety of stevia for human consumption has been established through rigorous peer-reviewed research, and the FDA and Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) recognize it as safe. Stevia has zero glycemic load and is safe for people with diabetes.