Sweegen investigates mislabeling of stevia

The ingredient and technology company’s independent tests exposed falsely labeled stevia products, particularly third-party Reb M variants originating from China, and is offering industry-wide authenticity testing to ensure the highest stevia quality standards.

Cindy Hazen, Contributing writer

November 29, 2023

2 Min Read

At a Glance

  • Sweegen uncovered mislabeled Reb M stevia ingredients in the market, specifically those originating from China.
  • The company is offering free testing to the industry to help companies verify the integrity of their stevia products.
  • Sweegen is also taking action to protect its intellectual property and ensure the authenticity of Reb M stevia.

A common stevia ingredient may be falsely labeled, according to independent tests commissioned by Sweegen, a formulator of wellness ingredient and taste modulation technologies. The company, in an unprecedented move, took on its competitors by actively investigating reports of adulterated Reb (Rebaudioside) M originating from China.

Test results revealed certain third-party Reb M products sold to food and beverage companies under label claims of “Reb-M 95%,” “Bioconversion Reb-M 95%” or “Stevia (Organic) Extract Reb-M 95%” are not made through extraction or bioconversion.

Sweegen produces non-GMO Bestevia Reb M made with a proprietary clean bioconversion method. The company seeks to protect its patent rights, particularly regarding Bestevia Reb M’s use for nonalcoholic applications.

“Recognizing and rewarding genuine innovations becomes crucial in fostering a marketplace that values and encourages technological advancements,” according to the company’s press release. “Ensuring accurate labeling practices is not only a matter of compliance but also fundamental to sustaining a fair and competitive market landscape.”

Besides protecting its intellectual property, the company expressed concerns that consumers’ choices may be undermined. Not only might consumers unknowingly consume products that don’t meet their dietary preferences, but these products may also not align with their values concerning environmental sustainability and natural claims. Bioconversion has the advantage of claiming non-GMO verification.

While Sweegen respects other company’s innovations, the company is actively investigating reports of adulterated Reb M originating from China. The company emphasized its commitment to thorough research and plans to collaborate with relevant authorities to report findings to United States and European Union customs. Sweegen is determined to address any issues related to product authenticity.

To enhance transparency in the food and beverage industry, Sweegen is extending an offer to test all Reb M samples for authenticity: “This initiative aims to assist companies in verifying the integrity of their stevia products and reinforces Sweegen’s commitment to maintaining the highest stevia quality standards in the industry.”

About the Author(s)

Cindy Hazen

Contributing writer

Cindy Hazen has more than 25 years of experience developing seasonings, dry blends, beverages and more. Today, when not writing or consulting, she expands her knowledge of food safety as a food safety officer for a Memphis-based produce distributor.

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