HEERLEN, THE NETHERLANDS — Avansya, a joint venture between Cargill and Royal DSM, on Nov. 14 began producing EverSweet, a zero-calorie sweetener, at a new commercial-scale fermentation facility in Blair, Neb.

EverSweet contains Rebaudioside M and Rebaudioside D, two of the sweeter-tasting steviol glycosides. EverSweet gives food and beverage manufacturers a more scalable, sustainable and low cost-in-use system when compared to Reb M and Reb D extracted from the stevia leaf, according to Avansya. Making EverSweet involves fermentation of baker’s yeast. Potential applications for EverSweet include yogurt, chocolate milk, soft drinks, ice cream, cereal, bars and confectionery items. Over 300 customer trials and product development projects are in progress.

Minneapolis-based Cargill will operate the $50 million, 10,000-square-foot facility.

“The need for effective solutions for advanced sugar reduction on a global scale has never been clearer or more urgent,” said Patrick Niels, president of DSM Food Specialties and a board member for Avansya. “With today’s opening, we are showing that, as an industry, we can do more, and faster, to innovate and provide consumers around the world with reduced- and zero-calorie food and beverage products, with no compromise on taste, and so help support good health and well-being in our societies.”

Avansya will be able to service large-scale food, beverage, flavor and fragrance manufacturers in the United States and Mexico, said Andy Ohmes, lead for Cargill’s global high-intensity sweetener product line and vice-president of sales and marketing for Avansya. Avansya will serve customers in the United States and Mexico, said Oscar Goddijn, chief executive officer of Avansya. Cargill and Heerlen-based DSM created Avansya in 2018.