The letter B has joined the alphabet of stevia compounds. SweeGen in July announced successful commercial production of Bestevia Reb B, a highly soluble stevia sweetener using that rare glycoside of the stevia plant. SweeGen makes the ingredient by a patented enzymatic bioconversion, with filings under way for both FDA GRAS status and acceptance from the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Assn. (FEMA).
SweeGen claims Bestevia Reb B will have a price equivalent to sugar and is scalable, non-caloric and sustainable. It’s suitable for a range of applications, especially beverages. Reb B joins SweeGen’s portfolio of Bestevia sugar reduction solutions, which including rebs D, E and M.
The bioconversion process begins with the extraction of steviol glycosides from stevia leaves. Then enzymes are used to convert them into the preferred, better tasting components, which are then isolated and purified. The molecules produced (rebs D, E, M and now B) are identical to those found in nature, the company says.