BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — International food safety authority Codex Alimentarius (Codex) has adopted a framework that encompasses four different technologies for producing steviol glycosides, a move that should enable greater access globally to the full range of stevia ingredients, according to the International Stevia Council.

The four production technologies approved by Codex are stevia leaf extract, steviol glycosides from bioconversion, steviol glycosides from fermentation and glucosylated steviol glycosides.

“ISC was instrumental in getting this new framework approved, which benefits the entire stevia industry,” said Maria Teresa Scardigli, executive director of the Washington-based ISC. “The framework approach ensures that business operators can put steviol glycosides produced through their various technologies on the market without submitting new dossiers, provided they fulfill the defined criteria and specifications per technology. This is based on the authorities’ review of the production technology, ensuring the highest level of safety, purity and quality is achieved for the final steviol glycoside ingredient put on the market.”

The Codex action means there is now a more streamlined approach to regional adoption of new production technologies, according to Sweegen, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., which uses a bioconversion process to produce steviol glycosides from stevia leaves. Most countries will adopt the standard, allowing Sweegen’s global stevia footprint to expand more rapidly into countries where the company is seeking approval, said Luca Giannone, senior vice president of sales.

Codex Alimentarius is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is part of the joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program.

Global product launches with stevia, a high-intensity sweetener used to reduce sugar in products, had a compound annual growth rate of nearly 22% from 2011 to 2021, according to Innova Market Insights, Arnhem, The Netherlands.