Coca-Cola launching beverages with stevia

by Staff
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ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. is introducing several new beverages with a stevia-based sweetener, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed the sweetener used is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).

First, the Odwalla brand is adding two new reduced-calorie juice drinks to its product portfolio. The products, Odwalla Mojito Mambo and Odwalla Pomegranate Strawberry, use a stevia-based sweetener called Truvia. Specifically, the sweetener uses rebiana, which comes from part of the stevia leaf. Each drink has 50 calories per 8-oz serving and has vitamins C and E.

The Odwalla products will be available in 450 mL recyclable plastic bottles for a suggested retail price of $3.29.

In addition, Coca-Cola has announced the launch of Sprite Green, a sparkling, naturally sweetened, reduced-calorie beverage that also uses the Truvia stevia-based sweetener. The new Sprite product also has 50 calories per 8.5-oz serving and has 5% lemon juice.

Truvia was developed jointly by Cargill and Coca-Cola. The F.D.A. received a GRAS filing from Cargill dated May 20. In the filing, Cargill sought the use of Rebaudioside A purified from Stevia rebaudiana as a general-purpose sweetener in foods, excluding meat and poultry products. According to Coca-Cola, the F.D.A. has issued a letter of no objected to Cargill indicating the agency has no questions regarding the conclusion that rebiana is GRAS under the intended conditions of use.

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