FRESNO, Calif., Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- S&W Seed Company (Nasdaq: SANW) today announced it has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a unique stevia plant variety 'SW 129.' Field trials have confirmed that 'SW 129' has very sweet leaves with high levels of steviol glycosides, very low bitterness and aftertaste, excellent overwintering, high plant vigor, high leaf yield and is late flowering. 'SW 129' is ideally suited for commercial level stevia extraction due to these enhanced characteristics.
Stevia rebaudiana is a plant species in the sunflower (Asteraceae) family, which has naturally non-caloric sweet leaves. The active compounds that impart the sweet flavor to stevia leaves are steviol glycosides. The most common steviol glycosides are stevioside and rebaudioside A, which have between 250 and 400 times the sweetness of sugar. Stevioside tends to be more prevalent in unimproved lines of stevia leaves than rebaudioside A. The development of new varieties of Stevia rebaudiana with higher levels of rebaudioside A than stevioside is desirable for use as a sugar substitute.
In field trials conducted in Ontario, Oregon, 'SW 129' yielded over 5,000 pounds of leaf per acre per year. In field trials throughout the western United States, 'SW 129' had 98% more Reb-A content and more than a 475% increase in the Reb-A to stevioside ratio, as compared to test samples from a standard stevia variety.
S&W's focus is on developing varieties with unique, enhanced characteristics, providing added value along the entire supply chain. 'SW 129' is the third patent filed by S&W Seed Company for a unique stevia plant variety. Previously S&W filed patents for 'SW 107,' another variety designed to be grown for commercial processors who make stevia derivatives for the mass market, as well as 'SW 201,' a variety with an improved leaf taste profile that is well suited for producing fresh and dry leaf stevia, as well as the home gardening customer.
Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company commented, "S&W is developing the highest quality plant varieties available in the world. Our stevia development program continues to be at the leading edge of developing varieties with characteristics that will allow stevia to become a strong economic alternative within the sweetener marketplace, including enhanced yield, steviol glycoside levels, plant vigor, as well as low levels of bitterness and aftertaste. Stevia continues to increase in popularity and in order to meet the future demands for the natural non-caloric sweeteners; enhanced plant characteristics are going to be required. S&W will look to fill that opportunity in the marketplace."
About S&W Seed Company
Founded in 1980, S&W Seed Company is a global agricultural company, headquartered in Fresno, California. The Company's vision is to be the world's preferred proprietary seed company which supplies a range of forage and specialty crop products that supports the growing global demand for animal proteins and healthier consumer diets. The Company is the global leader in alfalfa seed, with unrivaled research and development, production and distribution capabilities. S&W's capabilities span the world's alfalfa seed production regions, with operations in the San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys of California, five other U.S. states, Australia, and three provinces in Canada, and S&W sells its seed products in more than 30 countries around the globe. Additionally, the Company is utilizing its research and breeding expertise to develop and produce stevia, the all-natural, zero calorie sweetener for the food and beverage industry. For more information, please visit www.swseedco.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may," "future," "plan" or "planned," "will" or "should," "expected," "anticipates," "draft," "eventually" or "projected." You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and other risks identified in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, and in other filings subsequently made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of the receipt of new information, the occurrence of future events or otherwise.
SOURCE S&W Seed Company