Evolva Holding has entered into an agreement with Cargill to jointly develop and commercialize fermentation-derived steviol glycosides. Cargill will be responsible for commercialization and has agreed to invest $5.3 million in Evolva. Additionally, Evolva stands to receive up to $7.5 million in milestone payments and has the right to a 45 percent participation in the final business.
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is grown, harvested and used as a sweetener in many countries around the globe. Its sweet leaves have been consumed for generations. Today, extracts purified from these leaves are used to sweeten a range of zero- and reduced-calorie food and beverage products. Stevia leaves contain a number of individual molecules (known as steviol glycosides) that give them their sweet taste. The only commercially available steviol glycosides available today are derived from stevia plants grown and harvested in an agriculture setting.
Cargill brings to the collaboration its vast manufacturing and commercial expertise in bulk sweeteners, food ingredients, and of course stevia sweeteners. Cargill is a global market leader in the stevia-based sweetener category with consumer products and as an ingredient, which can be found in a variety of branded food products and beverages sold in the US, Europe, Mexico, and South America.
Evolva is a pioneer and global leader in sustainable, fermentation-based approaches to ingredients for health, wellness and nutrition, such as stevia, vanilla, saffron and resveratrol, as well as high-value ingredients for the OTC personal care and pharmaceuticals markets.
Evolva and Cargill believe that fermentation-derived steviol glycosides have the potential to unlock more value from this remarkable sweetener.
Evolva CEO Mr Neil Goldsmith and Dr PM Murali, MD and CEO, Evolva Biotech in India commented, "Cargill is the perfect partner for Evolva to advance the development, scale-up, and commercialization of fermentation-derived steviol glycosides, not least because they are a global industry leader in the stevia business and a powerhouse in food ingredient production. They are fundamentally changing the sweetener category around the world with their stevia-based sweetener products. We view this collaboration as further evidence that industry has recognized that Evolva's technology platform represents a uniquely powerful foundation for producing sustainable, next generation, high-value health, nutrition, and wellness products."