Oobli Receives FDA ‘No Questions’ Letter for a Novel Sweet Protein

March 21, 2024
Brazzein variant produced via precision fermentation allows sugar reduction in foods and beverages.

Oobli, a developer of low-sugar sweet tea and chocolates, on March 20 announced it has received a "no questions" letter from the FDA allowing it to use its variant of the novel sweetener brazzein as a sweetener in food and beverage products.

The FDA accepted Oobli’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) petition for its Oubli Fruit Sweet Protein, which originates with an African fruit called oubli. However, in his introduction on the company website, Jason Ryder, Oobli Founder & CTO, notes, “I’ve been focused on perfecting a fermentation process to replicate and produce these sweet proteins.

"The Oubli Fruit Sweet Protein is one of several sweet proteins that is derived from fruits primarily found in West Africa and other equatorial environments," continued Ryder, who also is an adjunct professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at University of California Berkeley. “Sweet proteins are a class of proteins that deliver a sugar-like sweetness but don't affect blood sugar, insulin or the gut microbiome."

"The Oubli Fruit Sweet Protein can be safely used in various foods with support from the general scientific community and the FDA," added Ali Wing, Oobli CEO. “It can replace 70% or more of sugar in most food and beverages.”

Oobli already produces branded chocolates and iced teas with the sweetener replacing most of the sugar. It’s one of the companies that are pursuing non-nutritive sweeteners via precision fermentation, many of the other companies focusing on glycosides of stevia.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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