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Approval opens door for more food and beverage sugar reduction solutions

Sweegen expanded its Signature stevia footprint in Latin America after Colombia approved its stevia sweeteners made by bioconversion, a method producing clean and non-GMO ingredients. Sweegen’s rebaudiosides E and I will now join the already approved D and M.

“Latin America is one of our most important markets globally,” said Luca Giannone, senior vice president of global sales. “The continuous development of our Signature sweeteners and sweetener system demonstrates our commitment to investing in new technologies for helping brands tackle sugar reduction challenges and replace sugar in better-for-you food and beverages in Colombia.”

Triggered by rising levels of obesity, Colombia has undergone a nutrition transition. The country has prioritized the health and well-being of children and families by adopting policies to address the obesity epidemic. Colombia’s Ministry of Health has prioritized sugar reduction by exploring sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes to mandatory front-of-pack warning labels through legislative, and public media pushes. The country joins the growing list of Latin American countries prioritizing health, including Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, and Mexico.

In South America, 52 % of consumers say they are looking to moderate sugar intake in soft drinks, according to FMCG Gurus 2021. Colombia ranks third in the region for new product launches in soft drinks and fourth for sales value in 2018, following Brazil and Argentina, as reported by Innova Market Insights.

“As new product launches have increased in recent years, brands have a clear opportunity to create healthy innovative food and beverages, replacing up to 100 % sugar with Sweegen’s Signature stevia and sweetener system,” said Giannone.

“The regulatory development is good news for Sweegen to introduce more steviol glycosides made by bioconversion. It also gives consumer packaged goods (CPGs) direct access to Sweegen’s Signature sweeteners without waiting for additional product registration in Colombia,” said Hadi Omrani, senior director of technical and regulatory affairs.

New generation rebaudiosides made by bioconversion produce clean sweetener molecules like rebaudiosides B, D, E, I, M, and N, originally found in small quantities in the stevia leaf. They impart a clean sugar-like taste with a better sensory profile and are highly sought-after by food and beverage manufacturers in countries with regulatory approvals.

As Colombia traverses health and wellness improvement, brands now have less pressure to navigate sugar reduction solutions. Sweegen is a resource of expertise for brands to collaborate on new and exciting foods and beverages that resonate with consumers. Sweegen’s LATAM Innovation Studio, located in Mexico City, serves the entire region. It is one of many global creative centers home to product developers exploring sweet taste solutions, local consumer insights, and collaborating on new or reformulated products with Sweegen’s expert food and applications team.

“Brands have the excellent opportunity to adopt a healthy profile and broaden their product offerings to consumers increasingly interested in better-for-you foods and beverages,” said Steven Chen, Sweegen’s chief executive officer. “We’re ready to help brands navigate the future of healthy food and beverages.”