VANCOUVER, B.C. — GLG Life Tech Corp. said it continues to believe the stevia leaf itself can provide two of the better-tasting steviol glycosides in a commercially viable way. The strategy is in contrast to a recent Cargill sweetener introduction that involves yeast extracts and fermentation, and not the stevia leaf, to create the two steviol glycosides.
Conventional stevia leaves have had Reb D concentrations of about 0.3% of dry leaf weight, or 2.5% of total steviol glycosides, and Reb M concentrations of less than 0.1% of dry leaf weight, or less than 1% of total steviol glycosides, according to Vancouver-based GLG Life Tech. New Reb D seedlings from GLG Life Tech are about 1.26% of dry leaf weight, or 9.4% of total steviol glycosides, and new Reb M seedlings from GLG are about 0.53% of dry leaf weight, or 4% of total steviol glycosides.
The increase in Reb D represents a milestone in developing a commercially viable seedling with high Reb D and Reb M content, according to GLG Life Tech.
“This Reb D/Reb M seedling breakthrough is truly important to the stevia industry as the flavor profile of Reb D and Reb M has been shown to have a vastly superior profile to Reb A, showing a flavor profile closer to that of sucrose,” GLG Life Tech said. “GLG sensory tests found Reb D to have a noticeable absence of astringency, aftertaste and licorice flavor. Reb M sensory tests were found to be even better and very close to sucrose.”
A stevia leaf higher in Reb D and Reb M content will bring down production costs, according to GLG Life Tech.Minneapolis-based Cargill on Oct. 1 introduced EverSweet, a zero-calorie sweetener that features Reb M and Reb D but is not sourced from stevia. In the creation of EverSweet, specially crafted baker’s yeast is fed simple sugars, which then are converted into Reb M and Reb D more efficiently and in greater quantity than from a stevia plant, according to Cargill.