According to stevia-makers PureCircle, the FDA has issued a “No Objection” letter regarding the use of Rebaudioside M (Reb M) as a general purpose sweetener for foods and beverages in the United States.
The company claims that high-purity Reb M (also known as Reb X) “has a closer taste to table sugar than previous stevia ingredients, allowing for deeper calorie reductions in food and beverage products, particularly those that have higher levels of sweetness.”
The development and release of this new sweetener resulted from a five-year partnership agreement between PureCircle and Coca-Cola. The beverage biggie has already released a stevia-sweetened version of its cola in other parts of the world, starting with Argentina earlier this year.
Coca-Cola had previously worked with agri-giant Cargill to develop stevia-based Truvia, which has been used in several of the beverage company’s juice and flavored-water products. PepsiCo has its own brand of stevia sweetener, PureVia, which is used in its mid-calorie juices and other drinks. Pepsi has also released stevia-sweetened cola outside of the U.S., even though PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has publicly stated that stevia “does not work well in colas.”