NEW ZEALAND – Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has approved Ingredion’s BESTEVIA Reb M Stevia Leaf Sweetener for use as an intense sweetener in food and beverages.
The governmental standards authority said that through a detailed risk assessment, it found no public health or safety concerns regarding the sweetener.
BESTEVIA® Reb M stevia leaf sweetener is an alternative ingredient used in several applications and is said to be 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
It involves a unique production process starting with the leaf of the stevia plant and results in a 95% pure Reb M stevia sweetener with significantly less bitterness and aftertaste than conventional stevia sweeteners.
The sweetener was launched by Ingredion in partnership with California based stevia supplier SweeGen and enhances sugar reduction while delivering ‘clean sweetness’.
“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,” said Wendy Pasco, Marketing Manager, Ingredion ANZ.
Ingredion is exclusive global distributor for SweeGen, which develops and produces non-caloric and non-GMO sweeteners for the food, flavor and beverage industries.
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.
“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,” said Eric Weisser, Innovation Director, Ingredion Asia-Pacific.
“BESTEVIA Reb M stevia leaf sweetener gives manufacturers a new tool to reduce sugar, without sacrificing taste.”
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2017 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.
Last year, Sweegen’s next-generation, non-GMO Reb D sweetener derived from the stevia leaf received approval from the Secretary of State for Agriculture and Procurement (SEAB) to be used as a tabletop sweetener in Colombia.