Cargill, one of the world’s pre-eminent bioprocessing companies says that its next-generation stevia sweetener EverSweet™ will be commercially available in in 2018. Mary Ellen Shoup from BeverageDaily talked to Cargill’s sales leader of nutrition and health, Alyssa Leyva at IFT in Las Vegas. To read the full article please click on the image.
We humans have had a craving for sweet-tasting food and drink products since ancient times and these were originally derived from naturally occurring sources such as honey and sugar cane.
Today, the average person consumes around 35 kilograms of sugar each year in developed countries and this has been implicated in the rapid growth of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and tooth decay.
So the search for healthier, low-calorie sweeteners is one of the holy grails of the food industry and the stevia leaf is one of the key sources of a next-generation artificial sweeteners that can replace sugar. The challenge has always been to replace the pleasure-giving ‘mouthfeel’ and instant sugary hit that everybody has come to love, with something just as appealing. Many commercially available artificial sweeteners have a slightly bitter aftertaste and this has been a key factor limiting their appeal. Stevia is some 250x sweeter than sugar, so you need only a small amount to get a great taste – without calories!
EverSweet™ contains two critical stevia components called Reb D and Reb M that occur in very low percentages in the stevia leaf. However, they really do produce a viable sugar alternative in terms of taste. EverSweet™ is brewed to produce large quantities of Reb M and Reb D. The production process occurs via fermentation allowing it to be manufactured in large volumes, which is often challenging with other natural sweeteners. EverSweet™ is well suited for a variety of product categories, from soft drinks to ice cream to bars and confectionery. It will initially be produced at a fermentation facility on Cargill’s Blair, Nebraska campus that will be retrofitted for this purpose.