Cargill and Evolva Holding SA (SIX: EVE) announced the achievement of a technical milestone in their joint development program of fermentation-based minor steviol glycosides—the compounds responsible for the sweet taste in the stevia leaf. The milestone is an enabling step in bringing additional great tasting stevia-based sweeteners to market in a cost effective and sustainable way for food and beverage manufacturers.
As a result of the achievement, Cargill will make a USD $1 million milestone payment to Evolva. Evolva is eligible for total milestone payments of up to USD $7.5 million during the R&D period.
In 2013, Cargill and Evolva entered into an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize fermentation-based minor steviol glycosides. Later in 2013 the companies announced that their program was moving into pilot-scale ahead of schedule.
David Henstrom, global business director for Health Ingredients at Cargill, commented, "We are encouraged by this project's trajectory. We look forward to offering cost-effective, great tasting, minor steviol glycosides in the market in the near future."
Neil Goldsmith, Evolva CEO, added, "The Cargill and Evolva teams are making excellent progress in a great spirit of cooperation. We are working hard to bring the project forward to the next important milestone."