08 Nov 2018 --- Cargill and Royal DSM have formed a new sweetness joint venture known as Avansya. Together, the companies will produce highly sought-after, sweet-tasting molecules, such as steviol glycosides Reb M and Reb D through fermentation. The move is aimed at giving food and beverage manufacturers an even more scalable, sustainable and low cost-in-use solution than if these same molecules were extracted from the stevia leaf.
The new venture will combine both companies’ technologies for producing steviol glycoside products made through fermentation and will market its products under one brand name, EverSweet. The move comes as food and beverage producers look to significantly reduce calories in their offerings to consumers, they are in need of non-artificial, zero-calorie, great-tasting sweetener options.
The joint venture will be a 50-50 partnership between the two companies. Financial details have not been disclosed. The establishment of the joint venture is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions but expected to be finalized in the first calendar quarter of 2019.
“DSM and Cargill have a longstanding business relationship and we are excited to work together on this joint venture,” DSM Food Specialties President, Patrick Niels tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
“Prior to this joint venture, Cargill and DSM have both been pioneers in bringing fermented steviol glycosides Reb M and D, the sweetest molecules in the stevia leaf, to food and beverage manufacturers as a zero-calorie, great tasting sweetener solution,” Niels explains. “Cargill has EverSweet sweetener and DSM, Avansya. Under the joint venture, the two partner companies will continue to enhance the fermentation process to bring even greater improvements in scalability, sustainability and cost.”
The partnership objective is to develop and bring to market fermentation-based sweeteners that will be commercialized by the JV to selected market segments (food & beverages, pharma, dietary supplements, flavor houses). Steviol glycosides by fermentation are the first products to be developed and commercialized. “We anticipate exploring others in future,” Niels confirms.
“The establishment of the joint venture is expected to be finalized in Q1 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions,” the spokesperson explains. “Until this is completed it remains business as usual for customers, and they continue to interface with Cargill on EverSweet (Reb D and M) and with DSM on Avansya Reb M. The new venture will combine both companies’ technologies for producing steviol glycoside products made through fermentation and will market its products under one brand name, EverSweet,” Niels notes.
Sugar reduction has been a key emerging pillar for both DSM and Cargill. “DSM still has other lines of products to facilitate sugar reduction such as its Maxilact lactase enzymes and DelvoYog cultures for sugar reduction in dairy, for example, that will continue to be commercialized directly by DSM, not under the JV. Cargill will continue to offer its portfolio of other zero-calorie sweeteners it has on the market today, including Truvia stevia leaf extract, ViaTech stevia sweeteners, and Zerose Erythritol sweetener, not under the JV,” Niels explains.
The partnership leverages the two companies’ highly complementary strengths for bringing to market fermentation-derived Reb M and Reb D steviol glycosides:
• DSM brings its leading biotechnology know-how, providing R&D expertise, including strain development and fermentation process development capabilities, as well as customer relationships in specific market segments;
• Cargill brings its unrivaled application expertise and global commercial footprint in the sweetener market, as well as large-scale fermentation capacity with access to co-located, raw material suppliers at its Blair, Nebraska (US) site.
The joint venture will make use of a new fermentation facility being built at the site in Blair, which is expected to be completed and operating in summer 2019.
“Cargill offers many great sweetener options in its portfolio today, and as market requirements and consumer preferences change, we are driven to innovate better tasting, lower calorie, more sustainable, and/or more cost effective sweetener options for our customers,” Cargill Vice President Food Segment North America, Chris Simons tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “The new venture with DSM is a way for us to achieve this as we can together accelerate and advance a commercialized Reb M & Reb D product line that offers the same great benefits but is more cost effective for customers than we have offered in the past. That said, however, EverSweet (Reb D and M made via fermentation) is an expansion, not a replacement, of our steviol glycoside portfolio; it is meant to open new market opportunities where stevia leaf extract does not play today,” he adds.
Cargill continues its build-out of its fermentation facility at their Cargill Blair campus in Nebraska (US), which is expected to be completed and operating in summer 2019, he confirms.
“At Cargill, innovation has always been at the center of everything we do and is essential to creating value for our customers. We use consumer intelligence to develop new sweeteners that extend existing product lines and/or diversify our existing portfolio to meet shifting expectations and anticipate the future needs of consumers. Erythritol and steviol glycosides Reb D and M through fermentation (EverSweet), which we introduced in 2015, are examples of this,” Simons notes.
At IFT 2018 in Chicago last July, DSM presented Avansya Reb M, a sweetened yogurt application, where the new sweetener has enabled a 100 percent reduction in added sugar. Avansya Reb M, with its sugar-like sweetness, allows producers to achieve a zero-added-sugar product while maintaining a preferred taste profile in the application. Avansya Reb M is a non-artificial sweetener that is identical to Reb M found in the stevia plant. It is produced by fermentation, a natural, cost-efficient process that is sustainable and offers consistent, scalable supply. Luiz Leite, Director of DSM’s Sugar Reduction Platform discussed the ingredient innovation in a video interview with FoodIngredientsFirst.
Also at the IFT 2018 event, Cargill introduced their EverSweet stevia extract formulation to the market. “Cargill has set a new benchmark for sweetness without calories with our EverSweet sweetener,” says Andrew Ohmes, Global Stevia Business Leader for Cargill. He also spoke with FoodIngredientsFirst in a video interview at the event.
By Robin Wyers
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