BELLINGHAM, WASH. — Sweet Green Fields was granted a U.S. patent that covers the company’s method for extracting Rebaudioside A from the stevia plant. The fast precipitation process (FPP) is 33% to 50% faster than conventional methods, according to Bellingham-based Sweet Green Fields. The extraction procedure draws Rebaudioside A out of a mid-grade stevia extract and turns it into a Rebaudioside powder of 95% purity grade and higher that may be used as a sweetener in food or beverage applications.

The process relies on a water and food grade ethanol as opposed to methanol or wood alcohol.

“This patent is significant because prior to this, the stevia industry’s published methods have long relied on methanol as part of the extraction process, and these methods were time-consuming and costly,” the company said.

One other stevia supplier, Wisdom Natural Brands in Gilbert, Ariz., uses only water in its extraction method for its SweetLeaf stevia-based sweetener.