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FSANZ approves Ingredion’s Reb M stevia for use as intense sweetener
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has approved Ingredion’s BESTEVIA Reb M Stevia Leaf Sweetener, produced by SweeGen, for use as an intense sweetener. Following a detailed risk assessment, FSANZ concluded that there were no public health or safety concerns with the sweetener.
BESTEVIA Reb M stevia leaf sweetener is a non-caloric, high-purity stevia sweetener touted as having a clean, sugar-like taste, without the bitterness associated with some stevia sweeteners.
The production process starts with the stevia leaf and uses a patented bioconversion process to achieve high quantities of Reb M, economically unattainable using traditional stevia extraction methods, says Ingredion.
“Ingredion is now able to support our food and beverage customers in Australia and New Zealand as they work to meet consumer demand for reduced and no-sugar products made with our new, high-purity, great-tasting stevia sweetener,” notes Wendy Pasco, Marketing Manager, Ingredion ANZ.
“The sugar-reduction trend is reshaping the way manufacturers formulate for sweet taste globally and we are excited to introduce BESTEVIA Reb M to the Asia-Pacific region,” says Eric Weisser, Innovation Director, Ingredion Asia-Pacific. “BESTEVIA Reb M stevia leaf sweetener gives manufacturers a new tool to reduce sugar, without sacrificing taste.”
SweeGen, a California-based sweetener company, seeks to develop and produce non-caloric and non-GMO sweeteners for the food, flavor and beverage industries. Ingredion is Sweegen’s exclusive global distributor in all markets (excluding SweeGen’s house accounts and in the People’s Republic of China, where it is a non-exclusive distributor).
Ingredion currently distributes BESTEVIA Reb M stevia leaf sweeteners in North America, Colombia, Peru, Australia, New Zealand and additional countries as regulatory approvals are granted.
In March 2017, SweeGen and Ingredion announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) No Objection Letter for BESTEVIA Reb M stevia sweetener for use as a general purpose sweetener for food and beverage applications in the US. This followed a review of the composition and manufacturing process of SweeGen’s BESTEVIA Reb M, with documentation submitted to the FDA the previous year (2016).