FDA Issues No Objection Letter to GRAS Status of Reb A; Companies Unveil New Products

December 17, 2008

FDA issued a “no objection” letter to the GRAS status of rebaudioside A (Reb A), the stevia extract used in PureVia, PepsiCo’s (Purchase, NY) all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener, PepsiCo announced on December 17.

FDA issued a “no objection” letter to the GRAS status of rebaudioside A (Reb A), the stevia extract used in PureVia, PepsiCo’s (Purchase, NY) all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener, PepsiCo announced on December 17.

This response indicates FDA has no objection to the conclusion that Reb A is generally recognized as safe.
"We are delighted to bring PureVia to consumers," said Paul Block, CEO of Merisant and Whole Earth Sweetener Co.

PepsiCo will launch two new products featuring PureVia. Zero-calorie SoBe Lifewater, a line of naturally sweetened waters, will hit store shelves soon in three flavors: black and blue berry, Fuji apple pear, and yumberry pomegranate. Tropicana will introduce Trop50, a light orange juice product with 50%less sugar and calories using PureVia, in March.

“For consumers who are demanding more natural foods and beverages and counting calories but don't want to compromise on taste, PureVia hits the sweet spot," said Massimo d'Amore, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages.

"The new flavors of SoBe Lifewater and Trop50 will continue the transformation of our product portfolio into a wider variety of healthy products, and we also believe they can help revitalize interest in our North American beverage business.”

Cargill (Minneapolis), which partnered with Coca-Cola to help pioneer Truvia, said of the news, "Given the extensive research conducted to assure the safety of Truvia, Cargill has tremendous confidence in the product. The FDA letter further validates what the science has concluded-that Truvia rebiana is safe for use for all consumers," said Marcelo Montero, president of Cargill Health & Nutrition. "FDA brought the appropriate rigor to the process and we are extremely pleased with the news."

As a result of this news:

*Coca-Cola announced the launch of its new product, Sprite Green, naturally sweetened with Truvia sweetener. The beverage has 50 calories per 8.5-ounce serving and 5% lemon juice.

“The Sprite brand has a rich history of setting trends and breaking new ground in sparkling beverages, and we think consumers will be excited to try Sprite Green,” said Santiago Blanco, vice president of Sprite and Flavors at Coca-Cola North America. “Sprite Green with Truvia natural sweetener is a significant step in our ongoing efforts to apply the latest breakthrough innovations to our expanding array of beverages.”

*Odwalla Inc. is also adding reduced-calorie juice drinks sweetened with Truvia to its product portfolio.
The drinks, Mojito Mambo natural juice drink with vitamins C and E, and pomegranate strawberry natural juice drink from concentrate with vitamins C and E, will be on retailer shelves this month.

Each has 50 calories per 8-oz. serving.