OAK BROOK, Ill., Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- PureCircle, the world's leading producer and marketer of high purity stevia ingredients, hails the recent European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conclusion that rebaudioside M (Reb M) can now be included as a stevia sweetener in Europe for stevia extracts from the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant.
"This new development is exciting news for Europe and the stevia industry," said PureCircle's Jason Hecker, President of Group Sales and Marketing. "In an area of the world where they are constantly looking to revolutionize their products by reducing sugar or cutting calories, this announcement is a welcome advancement."
In a scientific opinion paper recently published, EFSA's Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources concluded that Reb M should be included as part of the steviol glycoside specification for the European Union. The opinion paper will be evaluated by European member states in January 2016 with final authorization later in the year. Reb M will then join the 10 steviol glycosides already approved for use in Europe.
"Through our PureCircle Stevia Agronomy Program, we have been scaling stevia leaf naturally and increasing the volume of sugar-like steviol glycosides, such as Reb M, with traditional breeding techniques," said PureCircle's Chief Operating Officer Jordi Ferre. "Through breakthrough advances in traditional stevia plant breeding, we are now growing stevia varieties that contain over 20 times the amount of rare steviol glycosides versus other leaf available on the market."
The current EU specification also stipulates that the steviol glycoside preparations from the plant should have no less than 95 percent of 10 specific steviol glycosides. However, EFSA's panel also concluded that provided the total amount of the 11 steviol glycosides in a composition is greater than 95 percent, specific composition was not of concern. This means the current requirement that 75 percent of the composition be stevioside and/or rebaudioside A will no longer be necessary. The same uses and use levels in the current EU specification will continue to apply to the expected future amended specification.
PureCircle is the world's leading producer of high-purity stevia ingredients for the global food and beverage industry. Its mission is to encourage healthier diets around the world through the supply of natural ingredients to the global food and beverage industry. Its vision is to lead the global expansion of stevia as the next mass volume, natural-origin sweetener. PureCircle has offices around the world with the global headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was founded in 2002 and was incorporated into PureCircle Limited in 2007. PureCircle shares are listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange and trade under the ticker symbol PURE. For more information, visit: www.purecircle.com.
Contact: Rachel Quenzer
PureCircle, Commercial Division
Global Communications Manager
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