Sugar-free sweetener derived from GMO yeast could hit grocery stores in 2020

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Cargill Inc. and the Dutch ingredients giant Royal DSM this week began churning out a new sugar substitute that mimics stevia, but without using any of the plant.

The Minnetonka-based agribusiness has been working on getting the product, called EverSweet, to market for several years. Earlier this year, it formed a joint venture with Royal DSM, which was working on a similar product, in hopes of expediting the process.

The joint venture — called Avansya — started making the stevia-like sweetener at commercial scale at Cargill’s Blair, Neb., plant [the week of Nov. 18].

Stevia is a plant grown in South America that produces a non-calorie sweetener that’s 250 times sweeter than sugar. EverSweet was inspired by stevia, in that it is made from two key molecules — Reb M and Reb D — that give stevia its sweetness. But rather than being grown in nature, EverSweet was made in a lab through fermentation.

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The EverSweet process has raised questions among some consumers concerned about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The process adds a GMO yeast to a fermentation tank where it helps convert simple sugars into Reb M and Reb D …. EverSweet is currently being tested in more than 300 products. Some are expected to hit store shelves in the next year.

Read full, original article: Cargill starts making next-generation sweetener for 2020 debut

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