You know how Phillip Morris changed their name to Altair? And Blackhawk changed their name to Happy Lead & Brass Kisses? (or something like that) ANYHOW, reading some of my backlog, I saw in Food Business News’ November edition, there’s some similar name-footsie going on with a new sweetener coming to market in 2016.
This isn’t any big deal unless you’re reaaaaally watching what you’re eating, but IF you are, here’s a quick breakdown – Stevia is going all version 2.0 and running with a Reb M version of their sweetener. Pure Reb M Stevia is extracted from the Stevia leaf, but since Reb M is a steviol glycoside and it only makes up 1% of the actual Stevia leaf, Reb M strictly technically isn’t pure Stevia and isn’t classified as such.
SO here’s the footsie-newsy part – a new product to be released in 2016 is called EverSweet. EverSweet, a zero calorie sweetener, is mostly made from bio-engineered (genetically modified) baker’s yeast, BUT it has two Stevia components – Reb M and Reb D. What happens, according to the article, is that “special baker’s yeast is fed simple sugars, which are then converted into Reb M and Reb D more efficiently and in greater quantity than from a Stevia plant… after the yeast produces Reb M and D, the yeast is completely filtered out, leaving only the great-tasting, zero-calorie sweetener.”
Oh, and as a bonus, “Laws and regulations vary significantly from country to country. In some countries the EverSweet product would not be required to be labeled as G.M.O.” (AKA: the US!)
The FDA says EverSweet is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), but If you’re watching what you eat, be aware that EverSweet has derivatives of Stevia in the mix.
Any bets on whether that information is going to make it on the nutrition label?
The article further states that EverSweet has been in the works since 2013 as a joint investment from Cargill and Evola Holding SA, so expect there to be a big commercial hoop-a-doo behind EverSweet once 2016 comes around.
If you don’t have a problem with Stevia sweeteners, EverSweet laced products aren’t going to be anything to worry about. If you do have a problem with Stevia, watch out for EverSweet products as well.