PureCircle gains FDA GRAS for Reb D and F

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stevia, Food and drug administration

Major stevia player PureCircle has won a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) letter of no objection from the Food and Drug Administration for a blend it is aiming at products seeking partial sugar and calorie reduction.

The blend – called SG95 – contains seven previously approved steviol glycosides as well as rebaudioside D and rebaudioside F, which the company says have won FDA GRAS approval for the first time.

PureCircle USA, which is based in Oak Brook, Illinois, said the blend was particularly suited to applications that seek the benefits of stevia-sugar blends.

But it was not available at the time of publication to elaborate.

While the GRAS approval is only relevant to the US, the company is eyeing global markets for SG95. PureCircle said SG95 was priced below sugar.

In a statement, Magomet Malsagov, chief executive officer and managing director of PureCircle, stated: "Expanded use of sweet glycosides from the stevia plant provides both formulation and economic benefits to our customers. Our Reb A 97 continues to play a major role in our portfolio, particularly as our investments yield continued efficiencies that will be shared with our customers."

A letter of no objection from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), following agency review of the data, is considered to be the US gold standard for ingredient safety assurance although self-affirmed GRAS is also valuable.

With a proliferation of both forms of GRAS approval since the first was granted to Wisdom Natural Brands in 2008, the stevia market has boomed.

In the first four months of 2010 alone 154 stevia products have been launched globally, compared to 47 in 2009.

PureCircle has an alliance with Imperial Sugar Company called Natural Sweet Ventures, which aims to develop stevia-sugar blends on the US market.

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