Stevia supplier Sunwin International joined with flavors and ingredients firm Wild Flavors in February 2009 to produce proprietary sweetener blends based on its stevia for the food and beverage industry. This latest collaboration brings major sugar producer Domino Foods on board, allowing the triumvirate to offer a range of natural sweeteners and sweetening systems, which could be based on stevia blended with sugar, brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, malt, or molasses, among others.
President and CEO of Domino Foods Brian O’Malley told FoodNavigator-USA that the sweetener ingredients the companies will provide are intended to deliver cost-effective calorie and/or sugar reduction, without compromising on taste. Although the companies also produce artificial sweeteners and flavor modifiers, O’Malley said that the collaboration is focused on bringing all-natural sweeteners to market.
He said: “We believe that the combination of high quality all-natural stevia from Sunwin International, the R&D and application support of Wild Flavors, as well as their capability to develop sophisticated flavor systems, combined with our expertise in all-natural refined cane sugar and the ability to blend and package and ultimately deliver through our supply chain, cover all the required elements needed to bring innovation to the sweetener category.”
Although the exact terms of the agreement have not been made available, O’Malley said that the agreement has been structured to allow the three companies “to collaborate together on an exclusive basis and to contribute resources that are unique to each entity”.
Global CEO of Wild Flavors Michael Ponder said that the collaboration could help drive growth in the stevia market, on the back of increasing consumer demand for calorie reduction and ‘naturalness’.
"Wild has invested substantial time and technical efforts for several years to develop proprietary taste modification technologies for stevia, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, and looks forward to working with Domino and Sunwin for mutual worldwide opportunities for our companies and customers," he said in a joint statement issued by the three companies.
Chairman of Sunwin International Laiwang Zhang said: “Through quality, innovation and teamwork, our three companies will create great tasting, all natural sweetener solutions for consumer product companies who are focused on satisfying the latest consumer trends.”