CHICAGO – PureCircle Ltd., a producer and marketer of stevia-based ingredients, has opened PureCircle Mexico, a new location in Mexico City that is designed to support the Latin American food and beverage industry in its efforts to reduce sugar and calories in products.

“This puts us closer to our customers,” said Mauricio Bacigaluppo, vice-president of sales in Latin America for PureCircle. “So we’re in a better position to provide faster product development support to them. Customer service, sales, technical and application specialists are all now located in the region.”

Sugar consumption has been a concern in Latin America. PureCircle cited U.S. Department of Agriculture data showing Latin America uses more than 28 million tonnes of sugar annually. President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico has proposed a bill that would apply a tax of one peso (8c) for each liter of sugar-sweetened beverage. Fanta, Fresca and Sprite branded products in Mexico recently were reformulated with the inclusion of stevia-based sweeteners.

“There is a very hard push to reduce caloric content in food and beverages in the region,” Mr. Bacigaluppo said, “and now we’re well-positioned to help our customers achieve this objective with a natural-origin, zero-calorie sweetener – stevia.”

PureCircle’s Stevia 3.0 customized approach uses a portfolio of stevia-derived flavors and sweeteners to help the company’s customers achieve calorie reduction in products while maintaining flavor. PureCircle has other offices in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia; Berkshire, United Kingdom; Asuncion, Paraguay; Kericho Town, Kenya; and Oak Brook, Ill.