SweeGen’s zero-calorie sweeteners are suitable for use in a variety of foods and beverages, claims the California-based company, which uses a 'bioconversion' process whereby steviol glycosides extracted from the stevia leaf are converted into cleaner-tasting products via an enzymatic (not chemical) process.
"Our production process starts with first generation natural steviol glycosides as the substrates, we add natural enzymes to convert them into next generation sweeteners through enhanced fermentation," says the company. "The result is a natural compound (Reb-M, Reb-D or any other targeted steviol glycoside) that can be isolated and further purified for use as a sweetener in food and beverage products for the global consumer.
"The fermentation process does not change the natural molecule of the steviol glycoside and the end product can be confirmed as natural using isotopic analytical methods that can differentiate a natural ingredient from a synthetic product."
As a result, Sweegen's products "represent the next generation of stevia sweeteners," claimed Anthony DeLio, Ingredion’s chief innovation officer. "Along with our current sweetener offerings, these great-tasting sweeteners give us even more options to help our customers develop on-trend products that meet consumer demands for healthier foods and beverages with less sugar."
Ingredion will begin distributing SweeGen products in February 2017.
According to Sweegen's website: "We have been able to produce Reb M 95% and Reb D 95% and nine other steviol glycosides with our patent-pending process. The majority of these compounds have already been found in nature, but interestingly, we were also able to produce unique stevia sweeteners that have not been reported before. We believe these sweeteners may have unique sensory applications in flavors and/or use in food products as sweetness modulators."