IRVINE, CALIF. — HB Natural Ingredients has received a letter from the Food and Drug Administration saying the agency has no questions about the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status of Vitosa stevia sweeteners for use as sweeteners in food and beverage products. Potential applications include carbonated soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, sports drinks, flavored water, dairy products, cookies and candies.

“Our Vitosa stevia sweeteners are excellent high-intensity sweeteners with a powerful dual benefit: the capability to deliver deep sugar reduction and maintain sugar-like taste with no bitterness,” said Varuzhan Abelyan, Sc.D., chairman and chief of science and technology for Irvine-based HB Natural Ingredients.

HB Natural Ingredients was formed in 2018 as a manufacturer of specialty plant-based ingredients, including stevia extracts such as Rebaudioside D and licorice root extracts such as mono ammonium glycyrrhizinate (MAG). The company is a spin-off of the BGG Group, a Beijing-based manufacturer of ingredients for the dietary supplement, cosmetics and food and beverage industries.