Cargill and Evolva to Partner on Fermentation-Derived Stevia

March 18, 2013

Evolva will develop the ingredients, and Cargill will market them.

Cargill (Minneapolis) and Evolva Holding SA (Reinach, Switzerland) have announced a new partnership to develop and commercialize stevia ingredients from fermentation.

Cargill already owns Truvia, a leading tabletop stevia sweetener in the United States. But the company is looking for new ways to maximize its stake in the growing plant-based sweetener category, and there appears to be room to develop new options with steviol glycosides, the active sweetening compound in the stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana).

“The only commercially available steviol glycosides available today are derived from stevia plants grown and harvested in an agriculture setting,” said Cargill in a joint press release. “Evolva believes it is the first company to successfully adapt fermentation technology to produce a range of commercially relevant steviol glycosides, using sustainable, low-cost, carbohydrate feedstocks, which can be sourced virtually anywhere on the planet.”

The companies contend that fermentation-derived stevia can bring about better tasting sweetness compared to traditional steviol glycosides, which are limited by the naturally low concentrations found in stevia plants. Cargill and Evolva also say that their approach is both simplified and sustainable.