Sweet upgrade: New stevia leaf has more steviol glycoside content

by Jeff Gelski
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PureCircle stevia plants
PureCircle plans to plant the StarLeaf stevia in thousands of hectares.
 

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — PureCircle has produced a stevia leaf extract from its proprietary StarLeaf stevia leaf, which contains over 20 times more sugar-like steviol glycoside content compared to standard stevia leaf varieties, the company said June 8.

PureCircle has expanded StarLeaf to commercial scale and will plant it in thousands of hectares. The extract from the non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. stevia leaf variety provides food and beverage developers with a plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener to create finished products with more upfront sweetness, no bitter linger and a sugar-like taste, according to Kuala Lumpur-based PureCircle. The StarLeaf stevia variety is a product of PureCircle’s $100 million investment in its stevia agronomy program announced last year.

“The steviol glycosides in StarLeaf stevia are the most sought because they taste so similar to sugar,” said James Foxton, vice-president of agricultural operations for PureCircle. “We are proud to be the first in the industry to naturally increase the supply of these steviol glycosides in this way.” 
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