DECATUR, ILL. — BioVittoria has awarded Tate & Lyle, P.L.C. exclusive global marketing and distribution rights to BioVittoria’s monk fruit extract, a high-intensity sweetener, under a five-year strategic partnership agreement. The natural, calorie-free sweetener may be formulated into a variety of products, including beverages, dairy, cereal, confectionery and baked foods.

Tate & Lyle will market the products in the United States under the Purefruit brand name and will support the line of Purefruit products with sales, research, marketing and product development.

Purefruit offers the four marketing advantages of taste, made from fruit, 0 calories and natural, said Karl Kramer, based in Decatur and president of Innovation and Commercial Development for Tate & Lyle. Purefruit is heat stable, but like other high-intensity sweeteners, it requires bulking agents when used in certain applications such as baked foods.

BioVittoria, based in Hamilton, New Zealand, will continue to manage the monk fruit exact supply chain, which includes seeding cultivation, the grower network and natural processing. The Food and Drug Administration in 2010 issued a letter saying it had no objection to the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status of the use of BioViottoria’s monk fruit as a sweetener and flavor enhancer in foods and beverages.

“BioVittoria is a leader in the innovation and development of this great-tasting, natural, fruit-based product and has made significant investment in the monk fruit supply chain and processing to enable us to bring it to the market,” Mr. Kramer said.

Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is native to southeast Asia. Its pulp is steeped into hot water to release a sweetening ingredient about 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Monk fruit mainly is grown in southern China, Mr. Kramer said. Expansion plans are in place if demand requires it. Tate & Lyle has Purefruit available in markets where it has been approved, which includes the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, Mr. Kramer said.