Tate & Lyle has been strengthening its stevia portfolio and capabilities, most recently acquiring a 15% equity holding in Sweet Green Fields, a global privately-held stevia ingredients company.
The first wave of stevia sweeteners in the industry were made from the more abundant glycosides found in the stevia plant such as Reb A, which have been associated with a bitter taste.
According to the company, TASTEVA has a cleaner, more sugar-like taste. However, the challenge with using Reb M is that it’s found in much smaller amounts throughout the stevia leaf making it harder to produce commercial yields.
Tate & Lyle starts with the stevia leaf extract and then uses a bio-conversion process and water-only finishing step to produce a greater supply of its Reb M.
"Our bio-conversion process increases Reb M yields, allowing us to produce more volume not limited by plant yields and deliver more from the leaf at an acceptable cost in use," said Abigail Storms, global vice president, sweeteners platform leader at Tate & Lyle.
“It’s another tool in their [food and beverage companies] toolbox to create better foods and beverages with less sugar and fewer calories, ultimately helping consumers achieve their health and wellness goals."