Cargill and Evolva Holding SA announced today that their development program for fermentation-based steviol glycosides is moving into pilot scale ahead of schedule, potentially making it available for commercialization sooner than expected. Earlier this year, Cargill and Evolva entered into an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize fermentation-based steviol glycosides. Steviol glycosides are the compounds responsible for the sweet taste of stevia plant leaves.
“We are confident about our technical progress to date and are now moving to pilot scale in 2013 versus the original plan of 2014,” said Jill Zullo, Technical Director, Cargill.
Fermentation-derived steviol glycosides will benefit food and beverage manufacturers by enabling cost-effective, commercially relevant sweetening solutions that include the best-tasting minor steviol glycosides.
“The stevia market is focused on understanding the subtleties of how different steviol glycosides interact to create the most pleasing sweetness profile,” said David Henstrom, global business director for Health Ingredients, Cargill. “This technology complements Cargill’s existing and forthcoming innovations in stevia-based sweeteners. With this development, it gives us the confidence to deeply engage with customers to identify great tasting solutions.”
“The pace of progress in this collaboration with Cargill has exceeded our expectations,” said Evolva CEO Neil Goldsmith. “This is terrific news for not only producers, but also for the consumers around the world who will be able to enjoy a much broader spectrum of reduced-calorie products.”
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to sharing its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.
Evolva is a pioneer and global leader in sustainable, fermentation-based approaches to ingredients for health, wellness and nutrition. Evolva’s products include stevia, vanilla, saffron and resveratrol. As well as developing its own proprietary ingredients, Evolva also deploys its technology for partners, providing them with a competitive edge and sharing in the returns they make.
Stevia (stevia rebaudiana) is grown, harvested and used as a sweetener in many countries around the globe. Its sweet leaves have been consumed for generations. Today, extracts purified from these leaves are used to sweeten a range of zero- and reduced-calorie food and beverage products. Stevia leaves contain a number of individual molecules (known as steviol glycosides) that give them their sweet taste. The only commercially available steviol glycosides available today are derived from stevia plants grown and harvested in an agriculture setting. Evolva believes it is the first company to successfully adapt fermentation technology to produce a range of commercially relevant steviol glycosides, using sustainable, low-cost, carbohydrate feedstocks, which can be sourced virtually anywhere on the planet.
Evolva Holding SA, press release, 2013-09-09.