CHICAGO — The new Steviacane sweetener combines stevia extracts and sugar to offer competitive pricing and calorie-reduction benefits to food and beverage formulators interested in using stevia-based sweeteners, according to Natural Sweet Ventures, L.L.C., Sugar Land, Texas.

Natural Sweet Ventures is a joint venture between Imperial Sugar Co., a refiner and distributor of sugar products, and PureCircle USA, Inc., a producer of high-purity stevia products. PureCircle promoted the enhancer during I.F.T. 10, the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting and food exposition held in Chicago July 18-20.

Steviacane is created through a proprietary compound crystallization process that binds sugar cane and Reb A stevia. It combines the benefits of stevia’s high-intensity sweetness and the taste and bulking characteristics of cane sugar. Steviacane has been shown to work in any food or beverage application that currently uses sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. It is similar to sugar in terms of temperature, pH and stability.

Steviacane is available in three sugar-reduction options: 35%, 50% and 75%. All three options are available in either crystallized or liquid versions. Crystallized Steviacane is designed for syrups, spray-on, dairy, baking and confection applications. Liquid Steviacane is designed for the beverage industry as a liquid-sweetening alternative.