The Reb I molecule – which is found in trace quantities of the stevia leaf - is produced via SweeGen's patented ‘bioconversion’ process, which begins with stevia leaf extracts, and then uses enzymes* to convert them to specific target molecules (such as Reb I, D, M etc), Shari Mahon, chief of global flavor application technology, told FoodNavigator-USA.
“Each Reb has its own characteristics that impart unique sensory profiles. Reb I is one more tool for tackling sugar reduction. By and large, they are the foundation of SweeGen's creative building blocks for creating new sugar reduced food and beverage products.
"In comparison to other companies," said Mahon, "we have the patented bioconversion capability in manufacturing, and our investment into technology and science gives us a strong advantage in the market. The patented bioconversion technology is unique to SweeGen for developing the best-tasting sweetener molecules such as Rebs B, D, E, M and now I.
“The good news for global food and beverage manufacturers is our capability to offer scalable Rebs. Since we are vertically integrated, we can scale up these highly sought-after sweetener molecules to a commercial level which makes all of our Rebs very attractive.”
Reb I works well in bakery, dairy, beverages, confectionery, nutrition, savory and sauces and cannabis-based products, said Mahon.
SweeGen has received a ‘no objections’ letter from the FDA responding to its determination that Reb I is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), plus acceptance from The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA). Global regulatory approval is underway.
*from a genetically engineered yeast.