CHICAGO — PureCircle has identified protein, soluble fibers and antioxidants in the stevia plant and plans to begin commercial production and sale of the new stevia ingredients in the second half of 2019, the company said Dec. 3.

“Protein, fiber and antioxidants are in high demand by beverage and food companies, and these additions to our portfolio will enable us to offer our customers those ingredients from the stevia plant, and it further enhances our efficient use of each leaf so we can provide the best-tasting stevia leaf sweeteners and flavors cost effectively to our customers,” said Maga Malsagov, chief executive officer of PureCircle, which has a U.S. office in Chicago.

The technologies to produce the fiber, protein and antioxidant ingredients are covered by patents, applied-for patents and intellectual property. PureCircle already offers a portfolio of stevia-based natural, zero-calorie sweeteners.