Chengdu Wagott to more than double stevia capacity

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Stevia

Botanical extract manufacturer Chengdu Wagott is to open its second stevia facility in China, which it says will boost its Reb A capacity from 200 tons per year to 500 tons.

Wagott said the facility in Chengdu, China, is due for early completion in September and “will complete another stage in the vertical integration”​ for its agri-processing-business strategy. Its current facility is in Pujiang County.

The manufacturer is the latest company in the race to boost supply after the market for stevia and Reb A in particular opened up following approval for its use in food in the US, as of December 2008.

The US is Chengdu’s main market but it has its eye on Europe, stating: “Once the EU has permitted the entry of stevia, then the EU market and China will be the exciting markets with great potential.”

There are however already exceptions in Europe as the French government approved the use of Reb-A in food and beverages in September 2009.

A company spokesman told FoodNavigator.com that there are a number of reasons why its Reb A has more of a selling point than other Reb A producers.

He said: “We manufacture the Reb A upon the Phamarcentical GMP standard. We have the organic certifications and we are devoting ourselves to upgrade the taste profiles.

“We have also been granted the patent by USPTO for our extraction methods.”

Reb A (Rebaudioside A) is the sweet good tasting glycoside extracted from stevia plants that is preferred in commercial applications for the food and beverage industry.

Wagott’s Reb A is 95% purity. The company also claims its “ViaSweet” brand has been chosen by leading beverage and food brands as the stevia with the “cleanest” organoleptic (white refined powder) properties, enabling complex product formulations with relative ease.

Michael Wang, Wagott stevia sales manager, said: “Wagott has established itself as a market leader, including having received certification of the "EC organic products" for Europe and "NOP 100% organic products" for United States, issued by the authority of ECOCERT SA.

“The early completion of Wagott’s second facility for a high-purity patented Rebaudioside-A means continued guaranteed supply to global strategic customers.”

During the last decade, Wagott has developed its own controlled agricultural estate for stevia and other natural active ingredients including green tea, milk thistle, pomegranate and rhodiola, according to Hua Jun, President of Chengdu Wagott Pharmaceutical Co.

He added that following raw material cultivation, its quality management system and processing facilities are “as good as or better than any Western country”.

Last month Chengdu Wagott Pharmaceutical was voted in as a member of the International Stevia Council.

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