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Amyris gains GRAS green light on sugarcane-derived zero-calorie ingredient

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2018-09-06  Views: 42
Core Tip: Amyris has announced that its zero-calorie sweetener made from sugarcane has received designation as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by an independent expert panel.
 Amyris has announced that its zero-calorie sweetener made from sugarcane has received designation as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by an independent expert panel. This designation is based on US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requirements and allows Amyris to begin commercially selling its new, natural, zero-calorie sweetener. 
 
Specific details on the ingredient are not being disclosed until the official launch in December this year, but Beth Bannerman, SVP, Corporate Communications & Engagement for the company revealed that Amyris is partnering with one of the two leading sugarcane players in the world. 

“We are the sole owner of the ingredient. We are making it available through several of the leading sweetener solution companies in the world. We’re planning on disclosing between now and December,” notes Bannerman. She confirmed that the new non-GMO, natural ingredient will be suitable for tabletop sweeteners, most beverages and many other applications. The first commercial applications are already being targeted for the fourth quarter of this year.

Amyris positions itself as “an integrated renewable products company that is enabling the world’s leading brands to achieve sustainable growth.” Amyris applies its innovative bioscience solutions to convert plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules and produce specialty ingredients and consumer products. The company claims to be delivering on its “No Compromise” products and services across a number of markets, including specialty and performance chemicals, flavors and fragrances, cosmetics ingredients, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. Within the ingredients space, the company is a leading supplier to major flavor houses Givaudan and Firmenich, but it does not disclose the specific ingredients being used.

“Our investors and prospective customers are as excited by this news as we are. We have the ability to deliver the lowest cost, natural sweetener to market,” said John Melo, Amyris President & CEO.

“We’ve known for a while that our plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener tastes really great – our testers have said it tastes just like sugar and that’s because it’s made naturally from sugarcane. Besides tasting great, it has zero calories and no chemicals that are bad for you or for our planet. Now, we can provide a better option for people, including those who may be managing diabetes or other personal, health concerns. Finally, there’s a healthy and great tasting sweetener for everything from coffee, to barbecue sauce to the chocolates we cherish. Working with our partners, we will now be able to bring to consumers all the sweetness they desire but with none of the health dangers or bad aftertaste and, of course, with zero calories.”

Amyris plans to commercially launch its sweetener during the fourth quarter of 2018 and will host an invitation-only tasting as part of the launch for investors, media, and guests before it’s introduced to the rest of the world.

The commercial launch of a new naturally derived zero calorie sweetener comes amid a surge in activity within this space. Other ingredient suppliers looking to benefit from the surge in demand for reformulation options include Tate & Lyle through their allulose product. At the same time, recent R&D breakthroughs have led to a new generation of stevia extracts where the metallic aftertaste of the high-intensity sweetener has been minimized. Commercial progress has been reported from various suppliers, including Cargill and Sweet Green Fields, who will be discussing some of their work in an upcoming webinar.

In July, we reported that UK-based Magellan Life Sciences is scaling up their production of brazzein, through its patent-pending fermentation process. The company believes it will be the first to market the natural sweetener on a major scale. Using an FDA-approved microorganism strain and food-grade chemicals, Magellan Life Sciences has developed a unique process that promises commercial quantities of brazzein that are “identical to nature.”

Perhaps most interestingly, at the end of July, it emerged that European sugar producer, Südzucker, and DouxMatok had partnered on the commercialization of DouxMatok’s “breakthrough” sugar reduction solution across Europe to support the food industry’s efforts to reduce sugar content. According to the company, DouxMatok sugar, which is compliant with European and US regulations, can reduce up to 40 percent of the sugar content in various food products while maintaining the same sugar sensory profile.

Amid an environment where calls for reduced sugar formulations are intensifying, the ingredients sector is stepping up to the plate with a wave of innovation.


 
 
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