To heed the worldwide campaigns for further sugar reduction in food and beverage items, Conagen will be increasing the manufacturing scale of its high-intensity sweeteners. The thaumatin I and thaumatin II are cost-effective solutions that will meet the growing demand for fruit and plant-based sweeteners.
Thaumatin are proteins present in fruits of the Thaumatococcus danielli, a tropical plant. It was found to be 100,000 times sweeter than table sugar on a molar basis, while 3,000 times sweeter on a weight basis. These are digested into amino acids and are found to be a great zero-calorie alternative to regular sweeteners in the market.
The new products were developed in Conagen’s peptide production platform. “Conagen constantly improves its protein and peptide production platforms to generate more exciting new products,” said Casey Lippmeier, vice president of innovation at Conagen. “In this case, the platform has been leveraged to make thaumatin by several innovative approaches, but under a significantly shorter R&D timeline.”
Thaumatin I and thaumatin II are set to add to the current portfolio of commercial partner’s Sweegen’s brazzein and stevia sweetener solutions.
“Thaumatin is the second announced product generated from our peptide platform, which fits well into our existing world-scale, precision fermentation infrastructure.” Lippmeier further added, “Peptides and small proteins like brazzein and thaumatin can be very difficult to make economically; however, now that we have successfully scaled multiple peptides and proteins, we are willing to collaborate with other customers to make other novel peptide products.”
Utilising thaumatin as a natural sweetener has received regulatory approval from the EU, Israel and Japan. It is also considered as a safe flavoring agent in the U.S.