“In the past six months, stevia has gained increased recognition as an ideal ingredient to make great tasting food and beverage products with reduced calories” Larry Fernandes, President of the International Stevia Council stated. “This is demonstrated by the number of new product launches with stevia in 2012. Key flagship products of worldwide-known brands have recently been reformulated with stevia. The International Stevia Council (ISC) has played a fundamental role in increasing the visibility and the awareness of stevia at the global level”.
ISC recently led a session on “Sweetening with Stevia: An overview of global regulatory developments, improving analytical methods for stevia extracts, market trends and formulation success and challenges” at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Scientific Program, alongside the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo on July 14, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois (USA).
“The session was filled past capacity with attendees that came to learn more about the stevia success story” said Maria Teresa Scardigli, ISC Executive Director, “The success of this session clearly validates the exceptional interest of food technologists in stevia as a plant-based zero calorie sweetener. The attendees came to listen to five distinguished panellists about stevia developments in terms of market trends, product launches, and formulation successes (1).”
“Stevia leaf extracts have created a new category of sweetness for the food and beverage industry. Understanding the fundamentals of product formulation and how stevia leaf extracts work across the entire food matrix will help product developers create successful new products and navigate obstacles”, said Melanie Goulson, Application Manager at Cargill, a member of ISC and a speaker at the session.
“The launches of stevia containing products have continued to accelerate across global markets and penetrate across every major food and beverage category with 1087 launches in 2012 and a projected 1293 launches in 2013 (2)”, stated John Martin, Global Director, Technical Development and Innovation at Pure Circle, a member of the ISC and one of the five panellists.
“Beverages and dairy have both shown particular increase in successful stevia product category launches in the past few years utilizing key ingredient combinations. New stevia beverage introductions have taken advantage of synergistic benefits of stevia/sweeteners and adjustment of acid profiles. Dairy launches have also incorporated texture modifiers and adjustments to fat levels as methods to optimize stevia based formulations.”
(1) The panellists of the IFT stevia session include: Ms Maria Teresa Scardigli, ISC Executive Director, who presented a detailed overview of the regulatory landscape of the stevia approvals at worldwide level; Dr Benno Zimmermann, Researcher at the Institut of Prof. Kurz in Bonn, Germany and Technical Adviser to the ISC Stevia Proficiency Testing Program (PTP), who provided an assessment of the outcome of the first two years of the Stevia PTP; and Ms Lu-Ann Williams, Head of Research at Innova Market Insights, who provided market trends on product sweetened with stevia that have been lunched in 2012 and the key categories of stevia products that can be found in the supermarket shelves in different geographies; Ms Melanie Goulson, Application Manager at Cargill and Mr John Martin, Global Director, Technical Development and Innovation at Pure Circle. The session was facilitated by Mr David Schmidt, President & CEO of the International Food Information Council.
(2) Source Mintel through June 2013