Minneapolis and Reinach, Switzerland, 20 May 2014 – Cargill and Evolva Holding SA (SIX: EVE) today announced the achievement of a technical milestone in their joint development program of fermentation-based minor steviol glycosides – the compounds responsible for the sweet taste in the stevia leaf. The milestone is an enabling step in bringing additional great tasting stevia-based sweeteners to market in a cost effective and sustainable way for food and beverage manufacturers.
As a result of the achievement Cargill will make a USD $1 million milestone payment to Evolva. Evolva is eligible for total milestone payments of up to USD $7.5 million during the R&D period.
In 2013, Cargill and Evolva entered into an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize fermentation-based minor steviol glycosides. Later in 2013 the companies announced that their program was moving into pilot-scale ahead of schedule.
David Henstrom, global business director for Health Ingredients, Cargill commented, “We are encouraged by this project’s trajectory. We look forward to offering cost-effective, great tasting, minor steviol glycosides in the market in the near future.”
Neil Goldsmith, Evolva CEO, added, “The Cargill and Evolva teams are making excellent progress in a great spirit of cooperation. We are working hard to bring the project forward to the next important milestone.”
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 65 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to sharing its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.
Evolva is a pioneer and global leader in sustainable, fermentation-based approaches to ingredients for health, wellness and nutrition. Evolva’s products include stevia, vanilla, saffron and resveratrol. As well as developing its own proprietary ingredients, Evolva also deploys its technology for partners, providing them with a competitive edge and sharing in the returns they make.
Stevia (stevia rebaudiana) is grown, harvested and used as a sweetener in many countries around the globe. Its sweet leaves have been consumed for generations. Today, extracts purified from these leaves are used to sweeten a range of zero- and reduced-calorie food and beverage products. Stevia leaves contain a number of individual molecules (known as steviol glycosides) that give them their sweet taste. The only commercially available steviol glycosides available today are derived from stevia plants grown and harvested in an agriculture setting. Evolva believes it is the first company to successfully adapt fermentation technology to produce a range of commercially relevant steviol glycosides, using sustainable, low-cost, carbohydrate feedstocks, which can be sourced virtually anywhere on the planet.