Brazzein sweetener, a high-intensity, zero-calorie ingredient, to debut at SupplySide West 2021

In order to scale brazzein sustainably for commercial production, Conagen, Sweegen’s long-term innovation partner, applied a proprietary precision fermentation process using clean, nature-based ingredients.

Sweeteners supplier Sweegen (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) and innovation partner Conagen (Bedford, MA) are debuting a zero-calorie, high-intensity brazzein sweetener at the SupplySide West trade show this October. Brazzein is a small, heat-stable protein that is 500-2000 times sweeter than regular sugar, the companies say. The ingredient will be available in early 2022.

Brazzein is extracted from oubli fruit, which comes from the West African climbing plant. According to the companies, the fruit’s supply is limited. In order to scale brazzein sustainably for commercial production, Conagen, Sweegen’s long-term innovation partner, applied a proprietary precision fermentation process using clean, nature-based ingredients.

Brazzein’s benefits as a sweetener are that it has little to no aftertaste and can help reduce sweet linger and reduce taste modulation problems—all challenges common with natural sweeteners. It is stable at a wide range of pH levels and withstands pasteurization. It is also soluble for formulation ease into food and beverages. As a sweet protein, brazzein is also suited to consumer products targeting the Keto diet.

“Introducing a high-purity brazzein to Sweegen’s portfolio of natural sweeteners is one more creative solution for helping brands make low-calorie, better-for-you products,” said Shari Mahon, senior vice president of global innovation at Sweegen, in a press release. “Brands can look forward to exploring the synergistic benefits of combining brazzein and stevia for reducing sugar in food and beverages in a cost-effective way.”

“Brazzein is the first product generated from our new peptide platform, which fits well into our existing world-scale, precision-fermentation infrastructure,” said Casey Lippmeier, PhD, vice president of innovation at Conagen, in the press release. “Peptides and small proteins like brazzein can be very difficult to make economically; however, now that we have successfully scaled this peptide, we expect more sustainable, novel peptide ingredients will rapidly follow.”