Collaboration with China’s BioLotus Technology supports the development of advanced stevia-based sweetener for North American food and beverage manufacturers
PORTLAND, Oregon — Icon Foods continues to lead in the development of next-generation sweeteners with the rollout of RA99M, a groundbreaking new sweetener that couples affordability for food and beverage manufacturers with the clean taste and labeling demands of consumers.
RA99M is the latest product to capitalize on Icon’s ongoing research and development in stevia compounding. Stevia has long been prized for its ability to sweeten, but the plant’s leaves have multiple extracts with different properties. Factors such as growing conditions and extraction methods affect the chemical makeup (and thus the taste) of stevia’s various components and can be costly or lead to bitter notes.
That changes with RA99M. Icon has partnered with China’s BioLotus Technology Lasa Inc. to create this proprietary blend that combines Rebaudioside M, a minor stevia extract, with Rebaudioside A, a more widely known one. The resulting blend is 350 times sweeter than sugar while also masking any flavor off-notes, making it perfect for powdered drink mixes and a wide variety of other food and beverage products. As the latest step of their collaboration, Icon will distribute high-purity Reb-M, Reb-A and enzymatically treated steviol glycosides on behalf of BioLotus in North America.
“RA99M is the pinnacle of high-intensity natural sweeteners, and it is going to change the market for manufacturers who want a clean, naturally sourced product that is versatile and affordable,” says Thom King, president, and CEO of Icon Foods. “It is a truly clean and neutral flavor profile that works amazingly well in ready-to-drink products thanks to its remarkable smoothness. It’s a very affordable plug-in replacement for Reb-M and is specifically created for manufacturers who produce protein beverages, such as those involving dairy that uses ultra-high temperatures in their packaging.”
RA99M will be available only for commercial use and will come in 1-kilogram bags, 10-kilogram boxes, and 20-kilogram drums.