Looking to reduce or eliminate sugar in a new food or beverage product? Today’s food scientists have many sweetener options from which to choose. Ben Fleischer, CEO and founder of Pyure® Brands LLC, Naples, Fla., explains why Pyure stevia products represent an optimal choice for sugar-reduction endeavors.

Prepared Foods: Why is lowering added sugars a priority for most food and beverage companies?

Mr. Fleischer: The World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the

American Heart Association and other health and wellness bodies recommend reducing consumption of added sugars. This is because excessive sugar intake is associated with illnesses ranging from tooth decay to obesity to type 2 diabetes.

PF: Sugar replacement solutions are abundant and quite varied. What makes stevia an attractive option?

Mr. Fleischer: Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is a perfect choice for people suffering from one of America’s biggest health epidemics: diabetes. Stevia is a species of herbs found in the sunflower family, rendering it a naturally sourced ingredient for sweetening all types of foods and beverages.

Stevia rebaudiana, the sweetest stevia species, has been harvested for centuries for its sugar-like taste. Stevia received approval by FDA as a food additive in 2008 and received GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) designation.

PF: What makes Pyure stevia different from other stevia ingredients in the market?

Mr. Fleischer: At Pyure Brands, we understand the unique challenges that food and beverage manufacturers face in establishing reliable, sustainable raw materials solutions for their product formulations. After all, as producers of our own line of formulated stevia-based Clean, Simple Sugar Reduction products, we live in the same shoes. That’s why we’ve worked so hard to establish industry-leading supply chain oversight, certification programs and documentation practices for our high-quality, commercial-grade stevia powder extracts. Stevia is what we do. 

Pyure Brands perfected a process to isolate only the sweetest part of the stevia plant, producing superior taste without any lingering bitterness or licorice flavors. Most producers use several species of the stevia plant throughout the year based on available supply. We only use the same high-quality single species of stevia all year-round, and only specific parts of that leaf, to produce the sweetest, most consistent, best-tasting products on the market. All Pyure products are calorie-free, organic and non-GMO, as well as vegan and gluten free.

PF: Is it easy to reduce added sugars with Pyure stevia?

Mr. Fleischer: There are hundreds of different compounds that make up the intense sweetness of stevia. Reb A, or Rebaudioside A is a steviol glycoside that Pyure consistently extracts to provide a sweetness that you can count on. Due to the intense sweetness of Reb A (250 to 350 times the sweetness of sugar), only a small amount is needed. To combat the airborne nature of stevia extract, we blend organic stevia with other diabetic-friendly, low-glycemic sweeteners.

This makes the product more user-friendly when substituting stevia for sugar in recipes. These formulations, which can be customized for specific applications, make Pyure products a direct replacement for sugar in most applications.

Q: What levels of reduction are possible and in what applications?

Mr. Fleischer: Depending on the application, 100% reduction of sugar is possible. This is most common in carbonated beverages and flavored waters. Most other foods rely on the bulk that sugar provides; therefore, we recommend replacing half of the sugar with a Pyure product.

About Pyure® Brands LLC

Founded in 2008 by Benjamin Fleischer, Pyure Brands LLC, Naples, Fla., is a fast-growing independent organic sweetener company. Pyure Brands serves the global food, beverage, cosmetic and nutraceutical markets through retail, commercial and foodservice channels.

In less than a decade, the company has become one of the largest suppliers of stevia in the U.S. Pyure products are sold in more than 15,000 retail stores and online. 

Visit www.pyureorganic.com. For more information, readers also may email joey@pyurebrands.com.