Fermented sweeteners
Fermentation has arisen as a promising way to lower costs for high-intensity sweeteners.

Save money through fermented sweeteners

Food and beverage companies have sought ways to save on stevia costs ever since December 2008 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had no questions about two petitions regarding the safety of using Rebaudioside A, an extract from the stevia plant, in foods and beverages.

Eight years later, fermentation has arisen as a promising way to lower costs for such high-intensity sweeteners.

Ingredion, Inc., Westchester, Ill., will become the exclusive distributor of stevia-based sweeteners from SweeGen, Inc. in all markets except China under an agreement reached by the two companies on Dec. 1 of this year. Ingredion will be a non-exclusive distributor in China.

A fermentation process used to develop its stevia-based sweeteners ensures sustained availability and a commercially feasible pricing structure for use in foods and beverages, according to SweeGen, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

Minneapolis-based Cargill in June of this year said it had received a letter of no objection from the F.D.A. for the use of its EverSweet sweetener in foods and beverages. EverSweet contains Rebaudioside M and Rebaudioside D, two of the sweetest steviol glycosides. The stevia plant produces trace amounts of Reb M and Reb D. Cargill and Evolva partnered to produce Reb M and Reb D through a fermentation process involving baker’s yeast that makes the sweetener more commercially and sustainably viable.