PureCircle producing enough Reb M to sweeten 500m zero-calorie fizzy drinks

Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Pat_Hastings

Stevia sweetener producer, PureCircle, has expanded capacity, increasing its ability to supply food and drink makers with Reb M.

Reb M is the stevia sweetener variant most sought by food and beverage companies due to having a taste most comparable to sugar.

When it comes to beverages, PureCircle said it can now supply enough Reb M to sweeten some 500 million cases of zero-calorie carbonated soft drinks.

The company continues to build production capacity, and estimates that three years from now, it could supply enough Reb M to sweeten 1 billion cases of zero-calorie carbonated soft drinks.

Until now, a challenge has been that Reb M is present only in relatively small amounts in conventional stevia plants.

PureCircle, however, has developed a proprietary strain of the stevia plant that it calls Starleaf stevia. It contains greater amounts Reb M than conventional stevia plants.

The company has been making efforts of late to ramp up its planting of Starleaf.