In the Netherlands, DSM has asked Europe’s food safety regulators to approve the use of stevia produced using fermentation. The popular sweetener has already been okayed for consumption in Europe, although the regulation stipulates it be produced via water extraction of the Stevia rebaudiana plant followed purification and recrystallization. DSM’s process uses fermentation with a genetically engineered yeast to steviol glycoside.
A DSM spokesperson tells FoodNavigator that the new process will help meet growing market demand for sustainably produced stevia. Current stevia production methods require large amounts of land and water because the plant only produces a small amount of the desired molecule.
DSM expects a decision by late next year. Evolva and Cargill are also pursuing fermentation-based stevia, FoodNavigator says.