SweeGen obtains GRAS status for Reb B stevia sweetener

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: Markus Volk
Photo Credit: Markus Volk

Related tags Sweegen Stevia functional beverages

SweeGen Bestevia Reb B steviol glycoside (stevia sweetener) has received a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) Letter of No Objection from the FDA for use in food and beverage formulations.

SweeGen’s Reb B is part of the company’s broader stevia portfolio, which includes Rebs D, E, I, and M. Earlier this year, SweeGen announced the successful commercial scale up of its Reb N sweetener​.

Found in trace amounts in the stevia leaf, Reb B is a non-caloric, highly soluble sweetener roughly 150 times sweeter than sucrose, making it an ideal natural sweetener for better-for-you beverages, said SweeGen.

“This GRAS status is a great milestone for food and beverage manufacturers because Bestevia Reb B expands the toolkit for tackling the hurdles of reducing sugar in products, especially in beverages,”​ said Hadi Omrani, director of technical & regulatory affairs, SweeGen.

Whether it’s eliminating sugar all together or using a non-caloric sweetener such as stevia, brands are under pressure to reduce sugar levels in their products. According to Mintel, 87% of new beverage launches (from 2015-2019) featuring a natural, low- or zero-calories sweetener used stevia, which holds a major share of the natural sweeteners market. 

According to IFIC’s 2020 Food and Health Survey​, consumers are still looking to limit their use of sugar intake. Just over one-third (34%) of consumers polled said they use a low/no calorie sweeteners including stevia as a method to reduce their sugar consumption.

Using its proprietary bioconversion process, SweeGen began commercial production of Reb B stevia sweetener last June​, telling FoodNavigator-USA that it was aiming for regulatory approvals in all markets.  

“With a design-thinking approach for using consumer-preferred ingredients, coupled with Reb B’s characteristics and flexibility, such as good solubility and zero calories, we are very excited about collaborating with brands on functional beverages with unique flavors and nutritional ingredients,”​ said Casey McCormick, director of product development, SweeGen.

Are you registered for FoodNavigator-USA’s Beverage Trends webinar​ tomorrow​?

Hear from industry leaders about the future of this booming market and which trends have are changing the landscape of the functional beverage category. 


Beverage Trends Webinar

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