GLG Life Tech has announced six new stevia seed strains said to have a high content of Rebaudioside A (rebiana) – a development it says will enable direct planting in the fields.
Since, and even in the run-up to, the FDA GRAS notification for stevia-derived ingredients with a rebiana content of 95 per cent or more, interest in such sweeteners has been sky high.
The stevia seed strains are said to have a rebiana content averaging in excess of 70 per cent. Although GLG has stevia-derived ingredient with 97 per cent Rebiana purity, the actual potential rebiana content of extracts from the new seeds has not been communicated.
The new, high yielding seedlings are significant since they will allow for planting directly in the fields, the company says, rather than the seed needing to be propagated and the seedlings propagated in greenhouses over the winter.
GLG said it “expects that the value of these high rebiana content seeds, as well as the innovation in the company’s agricultural processes, will provide a competitive advantage as it continually improves product quality and cost efficiencies”.
GLG claims to have been researching the plant for over a decade and the latest breakthrough is said to have come from its subsidiary in China, Bangbu Huinong Stevia High Tech Development Limited.
GLG Life Tech said earlier this month that it has upgraded its stevia processing line at its plant in China to boost its output of higher purity rebiana.
The line at the company’s Qingdao factory was originally built to process up to 500 metric ton (MT) of rebiana to a purity level of 80 percent. This would undergo further processing to reach 97 percent purity.
Now, however, modifications mean it can achieve an output of 500 MT of 97 percent pure rebiana.
Other suppliers of stevia-derived sweeteners include PureCircle, which calls its product PureVia, and Blue California, whose ingredient is called Good&Sweet and can reach purity of 99 per cent, according to the company.
Cargill, which is supplying CocaCola with its Truvia ingredient, is in turn supplied by PureCircle and GLG.