Shipment of the dried stevia leaf to PureCircle is expected in October. Upon shipment, S&W will begin the initial recognition of revenues from its stevia programme, marking the accomplishment of a significant goal that the company set in late 2008, when S&W set out to pioneer the commercialisation of stevia production for the US market.
As an all-natural product, stevia is an increasingly popular alternative to sugar and chemical sweeteners, the company said. Reb A, the naturally occurring sweetness component in stevia, has no calories, no carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index.
Mark Grewal, president and CEO of S&W Seed Company, said: “Our agronomists have done a tremendous job selecting and growing stevia plants that hold up to the stress of mechanised farming. We are more optimistic than ever about being able to commercially produce stevia in California.
“With our in-house farming and plant breeding expertise, we believe we can be an industry leader through mass cultivation of stevia leaf, with high yields of leaf that have good levels of the Reb-A sweetener component. We believe there are great opportunities in this market in the coming years.”
In its December 2010 report, titled Sugar and Sweeteners – US, Mintel, a market research firm, said: “Reb-A and stevia is projected to penetrate 20-25% of the global sugar and sweetener market, which is currently still growing.” According to Mintel, the global market for stevia sweeteners has topped $500m per year following US regulatory approval in late 2008 and could reach billions of dollars per year in the coming years.”
Source: S&W Seed Company
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