BELLINGHAM, WA–(Marketwire – Jan 31, 2012) – Sweet Green Fields (SGF), a leading U.S.-based global producer of high purity stevia extracts, today announced it was granted a U.S. patent covering the company’s highly efficient method for extracting Rebaudioside-A (RA). SGF’s proprietary extraction method is 33% to 50% faster than the industry’s conventional methods, resulting in a much more efficient and cost effective process.
Known as the Fast Precipitation Process (FPP), the extraction procedure draws RA out of a mid grade stevia extract and turns it into a highly purified RA powder of 95% purity grade and higher. Another key differentiator of SGF’s FPP is that it is all natural, relying on a water and food grade ethanol for the extraction, as opposed to methanol or wood alcohol.
“This achievement is the culmination of more than a decade of extensive stevia research by SGF, and to our knowledge, it’s the first one ever granted in the United States on a process for extracting high purity RA,” said Dr. Mel Jackson, SGF’s Vice President of Science and the creator of the patented process. “This patent is significant because prior to this, the stevia industry’s published methods have long relied on methanol as part of the extraction process, and these methods were time consuming and costly.”
Jackson began working on the extraction method in 2001 when there were no commercial all natural methods to produce pure RA, and the patent pre-dates all other pending patent applications pertaining to efficiently producing high purity RA. Thus far, the patent has already withstood the challenge of other claims, as well as significant related art.
“Food and beverage companies are increasingly looking for all natural sweetener options that meet their taste and cost parameters, and our FPP is fast, it’s efficient, and it’s all natural,” commented Dean Francis, Chief Executive Officer of SGF. “Combined, this enables us to deliver a premium quality RA product with superior value to our global food and beverage clients seeking healthy sweetener solutions.”
SGF is an integrated sweetener supplier from seed to final product and has been conducting agricultural, process technology, molecular and formulation research on stevia for over a decade. The issuance of the patent confirms the dedication and excellence of SGF science-based approach to the business, and the company plans to explore possible industry licensing opportunities in the future.
About Sweet Green Fields
Sweet Green Fields (SGF) is the leading U.S. producer of sweeteners derived from stevia, including high-purity stevia extracts and Rebaudioside-A. With a vertically integrated supply chain from seed to final sweetener operating in three continents, SGF markets natural sweeteners globally to food and beverage companies. SGF also provides formulation assistance with its line of sweeteners. The company has formulated reduced sugar applications in beverages, dairy, baking, and confectionary. www.sweetgreenfields.com
About Stevia and Stevia Extracts
Stevia is a plant of the Asteraceae (sunflower) family whose leaves have been used as a sweetener in South America for hundreds of years. Stevia extracts are the first all-natural, zero calorie high intensity sweetener that deliver on key food and beverage formulation metrics: zero calories, low Glycemic index, heat stable, pH stable, shelf stable, non GMO, Kosher and Halal and cost competitive on a sucrose equivalency sweetening unit.