Codex ruling to open new markets for stevia – PureCircle

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 11th July 2011

Stevia supplier PureCircle has argued that new “important” markets will open for the high-intensity sweetener after a positive ruling global food standards body Codex.The London-listed firm said yesterday that a decision from the Codex Alimentarius Commission would help markets including India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines approve the use of stevia in food and drink products.

CFO William Mitchell said a decision from Codex to adopt all of the proposed draft maximum levels for steviol glycosides would not open any markets straight away but he said the approval was an “important first step”.

Mitchell said there are a “considerable number of markets that look to Codex to give them guidance” and claimed the approval would “accelerate” clearances in these markets.

PureCircle believes stevia will be used worldwide to combat rising obesity, increasing diabetes levels and a global sugar shortage, which is leading to higher sugar prices. “We see stevia as a global mainstream sweetener,” Mitchell said.

Speaking about the EU Standing Committee’s decision earlier this week to recommend the use of stevia as an ingredient in food and beverages, Mitchell said that he expects the final approval to come in November, with products set launch on the European market by January 2012.

Mitchell expects a faster rate of adoption in Europe than in the US, as many of the multinational manufacturers have products containing stevia already being sold in the US and Australia for two years. “With all the global multinationals, they’ve had two years of experience in other markets, whereas in the US we were starting with a cold start. They’re starting with two-years of very good experience,” said Mitchell.

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