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PureCircle and North Carolina Farmers Soon Harvest Company’s First Commercial StarleafTM Stevia Crop Grown in the U.S.

Del

Follows Successful Growing Season With Partner Farmers

CHICAGO, Sept. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PureCircle (LSE: PURE), the world’s leading producer and innovator of stevia sweeteners, and its North Carolina farmer partners are about to harvest the company’s  first commercial-scale crop of Starleaf™ stevia grown in the U.S.  PureCircle’s proprietary Starleaf stevia contains more of the best-tasting stevia sweeteners, such as Reb M, than other stevia plant variants.  Fortunately, the North Carolina farms growing the Starleaf stevia plants were not damaged by Hurricane Florence which tragically ravaged some areas of the Carolinas.

Following successful Starleaf stevia plot trials in North Carolina in 2017, PureCircle and a number of farmers in the state increased the amount of acreage dedicated to stevia by tenfold this year.  The quality and yield of that Starleaf stevia met PureCircle’s standards.  As a result, PureCircle plans to increase significantly the acreage used to grow stevia in the U.S. over the next two to three years.

The North Carolina program is enabling PureCircle to broaden and diversify its supply chain by increasing the amount of Starleaf stevia grown in different areas around the globe and throughout the year. This gives food and beverage companies further confidence to launch global brands with PureCircle’s best-tasting stevia leaf sweeteners like Reb M.

The North Carolina farming partnerships have provided innovations for both PureCircle and the farmers. The work in North Carolina has yielded advances for the company’s stevia agronomy program, including how to adapt growing stevia plants to different regions of the world. In addition, the mechanization of farming – and advances from this program – are particularly important in North Carolina to maintain a sustainable economic crop.  

PureCircle’s North Carolina farming partnerships are also helping farmers productively and profitably utilize acreage that once grew tobacco.

Commenting on the North Carolina Stevia farming initiative, PureCircle CEO Maga Malsagov said:

“Our partnerships in North Carolina will significantly increase our supply of Starleaf stevia plants grown in North America and thereby geographically diversify our stevia plant supply. We plan to increase the North Carolina program next year and again in future years.  We currently have three strong farming partnerships in North Carolina, and we expect to bring many more farmers into our program.”  He added: “We could not be more pleased with this year’s results.”

PureCircle recently announced advances which enable it to supply significantly more Reb M for the food and beverage industry. The Company produces Reb M both directly from Starleaf stevia plants, like the ones being grown in North Carolina, and from other stevia sweeteners in the plants.  In the latter case, PureCircle starts with purified stevia leaf extract with low Reb M content and by adding an enzyme, the maturation to Reb M is completed just as the leaf does itself.

The recent advances now enable PureCircle to significantly boost production of the stevia sweeteners which have the most sugar-like taste and which are most sought after by beverage and food companies.  PureCircle’s two-front innovation enables the company to provide its best-tasting stevia sweeteners in significant quantities and cost effectively for its customers.

As the result of its innovation, research and development work with stevia, PureCircle has been granted an array of stevia-related patents.  These patents – plus additional applied for patents — cover a wide range of stevia-related products and processes which play a role across PureCircle’s vertically integrated supply chain.

For more information on PureCircle's North Carolina farming partnerships, please see: https://youtu.be/dnb3uS3JpMo

For more information on PureCircle, please see: www.purecircle.com

Media may direct inquiries to:

Carolyn Clark, Director of Global Marketing
Email:  carolyn.clark@purecircle.com  Phone: 1 (630) 517 0812

Jackson Pillow, Media Relations Manager
Email:  Jackson.Pillow@purecircle.com  Phone: +1 630 256 8394

About PureCircle

  • PureCircle combines advanced R&D with full vertical integration from farm to high-quality, great-tasting innovative stevia sweeteners.
  • The Company collaborates with farmers who grow the stevia plants and with food and beverage companies which seek to improve their low- and no-calorie formulations using a sweetener from plants.
  • PureCircle will continue to: lead in research, development and innovation; produce a growing supply of multiple varieties of stevia sweeteners with sugar-like taste, using all necessary and appropriate methods of production; and be a resource and innovation partner for food and beverage companies.
  • PureCircle stevia flavor modifiers work in synergy with sweeteners to improve the taste, mouthfeel and calorie profile, and enhance the cost effectiveness, of beverage and food products.
  • Founded in 2002, PureCircle is continually investing in breakthrough research and development and it currently has more than 100 stevia-related granted patents and more than 250 patents pending globally.
  • PureCircle has offices around the world with the global headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
  • To meet growing demand for stevia sweeteners, PureCircle is rapidly ramping up its supply capability. It completed expansion of its Malaysian stevia extract facility in March 2017, increasing its capacity to rapidly supply the newer and great-tasting stevia sweeteners and helping provide ever-increasing value to its customers.
  • PureCircle's shares are listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • For more information, visit: www.purecircle.com 

About stevia

  • Given the growing global concerns about obesity and diabetes, beverage and food companies are working responsibly to reduce sugar and calories in their products, responding to both consumers and health and wellness advocates. Sweeteners from the stevia plant offer sugar-like taste and are becoming an increasingly important tool for these companies.
  • Like sugar, stevia sweeteners are from plants. But unlike sugar, they enable low-calorie and zero-calorie formulations of beverages and foods.
  • Stevia leaf extract is a natural, zero calorie, high-intensity sweetener, used by global food and beverage companies as a great-tasting zero-calorie alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • Stevia is a naturally sweet plant native to South America; today, it is grown around the world, notably in Kenya, China and the US.
  • The sweet-tasting parts of the stevia leaf are up to 400 times sweeter than sugar: stevia's high-intensity sweetness means it requires far less water and land than sugar.
  • Research has shown that the molecules of the stevia leaf are present and unchanged in the dried stevia leaf, through the commercial extraction and purification process, and in the final stevia leaf extract product. Many major global regulatory organisations, across 65 countries, have approved the use of high-purity stevia leaf extracts in food and beverages.
  • For more information on the science of stevia, please visit https://www.purecirclesteviainstitute.com/

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/77c93d75-bd24-45e9-970c-f840f5f2b5c4

http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ae00aefe-7745-4df8-a129-6fac9e450cef

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