Evolva Holding SA has published its patent application (WO 2014122227) on a process to efficiently and sustainably produce next-generation sweeteners via fermentation, including rebaudioside M (reb M). The patent application was originally filed on Feb. 6, 2013.
Cargill and Evolva announced in late 2013 that their development project to produce fermentation-based steviol glycosides had moved into pilot scale ahead of schedule; on May 21, 2014, the companies announced that a key technical milestone had been met.
The ability to produce a Reb M sweetener via fermentation opens up the potential to improve the flavor profile of these zero-calorie sweeteners, especially at higher usage levels. The sweetest parts of the stevia leaf make up less than 1% of the leaf. By producing reb M using fermentation, Cargill and Evolva hope to produce the desired sweetness at a scale and cost that is not feasible through extraction of reb M from the stevia leaf.
“This breakthrough will allow consumers all over the world to enjoy products using reb M at a commercially viable price,” said Neil Goldsmith, Evolva CEO. “This patent application forms part of our ever-expanding IP portfolio on steviol glycosides, which we are confident is the most extensive and the most commercially significant in this space.”