Evolva developing next-gen sweetener with Cargill

Stevia use on the up for food and beverages
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Pat_Hastings

Evolva and Cargill are collaboration on a next-generation stevia sweetener, earmarked for a 2018 launch.

EverSweet is a next-gen stevia sweetener that solves both the stevia taste and Reb M & Reb D saleability challenges.

The sweetener is brewed to produce large quantities of the most sought-after sweetness ingredients found in the stevia leaf, Reb M and Reb D. The stevia leaf contains only minute quantities of these ingredients.

EverSweet also delivers better sweetness intensity, faster sweetness onset and improved sweetness quality – without the bitterness or off-note aftertaste common to existing stevia sweeteners. Evolva estimates the total addressable market to be worth around $4 billion.

Evolva will receive up to 30% of the EverSweet business, determined as a function of the strain efficiencies achieved.

The sweetener will initially be produced at a fermentation facility on Cargill’s Blair, Nebraska campus that will be retrofitted for this purpose.

The facility will be operated by Cargill and additionally be used for the fermentation of other Evolva products.

In parallel, Evolva will build and operate a new state-of-the-art bioprocessing facility on adjacent land leased from Cargill. This bioprocessing facility will manufacture Evolva products such as nootkatone and resveratrol and is expected to come online in 2019.

Together, Evolva said, this integrated infrastructure will provide Evolva with a global hub for the production of high value specialty ingredients.

Neil Goldsmith, Evolva CEO, said: “EverSweet is coming to market, and given it succeeds as we expect it to, Evolva will see 30% of the upside whilst mitigating some of our initial cash outflows. Plus our planned US production hub, working alongside Cargill, provides the foundation for truly scaleable, low cost, high quality, production for Evolva’s other key products.”

Over the next three years, principally in 2018 and 2019, Evolva expects to invest an estimated USD 60 million in the combined fermentation and bioprocessing facilities for EverSweet and its other products.