As consumers continue to watch calorie intakes, food manufacturers are in need of zero-calorie sweeteners to help them achieve these goals. Avansya, a joint venture between Cargill and Royal DSM, announced it has started production at the first commercial-scale fermentation facility for stevia sweeteners in the US. The facility is producing EverSweet, a non-artificial, zero-calorie stevia sweetener.

The $50 million fermentation facility is located in Blair, Nebraska, and is operated by Cargill. It produces sweet-tasting molecules, such as Reb M and Reb D used to make EverSweet, and gives food and beverage manufacturers a more scalable, sustainable and low cost-in-use solution than if these molecules were extracted from the stevia leaf. 

The market for high-intensity sweeteners produced by fermentation is expected to exceed $3 billion by 2025. 

“Building this first-of-its-kind, stevia sweetener fermentation facility on the existing Cargill Blair campus reaffirms our pledge to helping food and beverage manufacturers meet the sharply rising consumer demand for great-tasting, zero-calorie products to meet their dietary needs and goals, said Mike Wagner, Cargill managing director and chairman of Avansya. "The need for effective solutions for advanced sugar reduction on a global scale has never been clearer or more urgent.”

EverSweet's clean taste profile is well-suited for use in products such as cereal, bars and confections. Avansya has commercial volumes available and is already supplying EverSweet to various customers. Further consumer products will launch in the coming months across multiple market segments. Over 300 customer trials and product development projects are currently in progress, according to Avansya.

EverSweet is GRAS and FEMA GRAS approved for use in food and beverage products in the US and Mexico, and additional regulatory approvals for use in other countries are underway.