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New zero-calorie sweetener hits the market 

Cargill’s EverSweet™ sweetener promises to be a boon for food makers and consumers 

October 01, 2015

It’s no secret that consumers have been looking for low-calorie alternatives to sugar, and food makers are scrambling to satisfy their desires. Now, Cargill’s next-generation sweetener offers the same great taste as the best parts of the stevia leaf – and it’s friendly to the waistline.

EverSweet sweetener will debut during the SupplySide West trade show on Oct. 7-8 in Las Vegas and be available in 2016.

“We’ve had customers sample it,” said Cargill commercial manager Andy Ohmes “and they got excited about it, because it will enable them to make very significant sugar reductions and create some unique no-sugar-added products.”

The new sweetener, which looks similar to powdered sugar, gets its taste from Reb M and Reb D, the same sweet components in the stevia plant. But while the plant produces only trace amounts of either one – less than 1 percent in the leaf – Cargill is now using baker’s yeast and the age-old process of fermentation with a modern twist to make the exact same compound.

The result is a sweetener that is closer to the taste of sugar, without the calories.

“It’s got the same profile, that ‘round’ quality,” said Ohmes. “Our new sweetener’s taste doesn’t take the split second to ramp up. It isn’t sharp and it doesn’t have any funny aftertastes. You get a nice, clean burst of sweetness at the front end.”

Reb M and Reb D aren’t new. “But it would take acres and acres of stevia leaves to extract them in sufficient quantities,” said Cargill global business development director Scott Fabro. “That isn’t cost-efficient. You just couldn’t get enough supply to supply large customers. Now we’ll be able to do that.”

With concerns about problems like obesity and diabetes ramping up, makers of beverages, dairy products, smoothies, and a host of other foods can use a sugar replacement that has no calories and no impact on blood glucose levels.

“We know our customers are listening to consumers, who want them to have cleaner labels,” Fabro said. “This will help them along the way.”

As a bonus, EverSweet sweetener is a more sustainable product. Because it doesn’t require large amounts of land and stevia plants, it is expected to create significantly less waste and CO2 emissions. The stage is set for this next-generation sweetener to contribute to healthier products, happier consumers and a cleaner planet.