Motivating PureCircle’s decision to launch these new stevia-derived ingredients was high demand for such ingredients by global food and beverage companies, according to a press release the company issued this week.
How would the protein content and bioavailability of stevia plants compare to other popular plant proteins, like pea or rice? PureCircle CEO Maga Malsagov declined to comment for competitive reasons, but told NutraIngredients-USA that “our introduction of these important new ingredients is the result of our stevia innovation.”
The processes to extract protein, fiber, and antioxidants are covered by patents, both those that have been granted as well as those that are still pending, he said.
Malsagov added that the commercialization of these new ingredients will make PureCircle’s stevia use even more efficient.
The company is vertically integrated, which means that it owns and manages the entire supply chain, from stevia farms to processing plants to the final branded ingredients.
“It will spread the cost of stevia raw material across the newly expanded array of ingredients sold and to be sold by the company: sweeteners, flavors, fibers, antioxidants and protein. That ensures PureCircle will continue to provide ingredients such as Reb M to its customers at price points that are cost effective for them,” he said.
The announcement comes at a time of increased competition in the stevia sweetener space. For example, Cargill and DSM announced that they are jointly ramping up efforts to develop a chemically identical version of stevia made via microbial fermentation.
More recently, synthetic biology specialist Amyris announced that it is trying to capture 30% of the current stevia market by 2022 with Reb M derived from a fermentation process instead of extraction from the plant.
Data from Mintel earlier this year showed that the number of global new product launches containing stevia grew by 10% in 2017, beating aspartame as a high intensity sweetener.