GLG Announces Stevia “Breakthrough”

« Through GLG’s development of its Reb D seedling using its non-GMO patented breeding methodology, the GLG agriculture team has developed a new strain containing significantly higher levels of Reb D and Reb M glycosides.
Historically, conventional stevia leaf has had Reb D concentrations of around 0.3 % of dry leaf weight, or 2.5 % of total steviol glycosides (TSG), and Reb M concentrations less than 0.1 % of dry leaf weight, or less than 1 % of total steviol glycosides (TSG).


GLG’s new Reb D seedling has significantly improved both the amounts of Reb D and Reb M. GLG’s new Reb D seedling contains 320 % more Reb D than conventional leaf strains, with 1.26% of dry leaf weight, amounting to 9.4 % of TSGs. GLG said that it expects to have further improvements in the near future given its proven patented hybridisation process.

Moreover, as GLG expected, the increased Reb D levels also saw a corresponding increase in the Reb M levels. Reb M levels in the new seedling increased by over 430 %, compared to the typical percentage in a leaf. Reb M glycoside content amounted to 4 % of TSGs, or 0.53 % of dry leaf weight.

The TSG in the Reb D seedling was 13.43 % of dry leaf weight. Lab tests of this Reb D seedling also included a substantial amount of Reb A in the leaf (68 % of the TSGs were Reb A).

This increase in Reb D represents a major milestone in developing a commercially viable high-Reb D and high-Reb M seedling, GLG claims, saying that it  is another significant leap forward in the natural, non-GMO agronomic development of the historically scarcer steviol glycosides.

According to GLG, this Reb D/Reb M seedling breakthrough is truly important to the stevia industry as the flavour profile of Reb D and Reb M has been shown to have a vastly superior profile to Reb A, showing a flavour profile closer to that of sucrose. GLG sensory tests found Reb D to have a noticeable absence of astringency, aftertaste and licorice flavour. Reb M sensory tests were found to be even better and very close to sucrose.

A natural stevia leaf source high in Reb D and Reb M will bring production costs down significantly, GLG believes, as has been experienced with Reb C. This, says the company, is due to the fact that these scarcer glycosides have historically occurred in such low concentrations that processing costs to extract and purify them on a commercial scale were virtually prohibitive.

GLG is in the process of filing for patent protection for its new Reb D/Reb M seedling.

“GLG’s agriculture team has once again demonstrated the strength of our patented Non-GMO stevia seedling hybridisation process,” said Dr. Luke Zhang, CEO and Chairman of GLG.

“These results are extremely encouraging after only 12 months of development by the team. In 2014, we were first to develop a new seedling very high in Reb C and in 2015 our team has once again demonstrated excellent results and progress from our high Reb D and Reb M seedling program. I am confident that GLG will produce higher levels of Reb D and Reb M in our patented seedlings in the near future, replicating the success of our Reb C Gold patented seedling. Reb C Gold and Super RA seedlings are developing very well and we expect these seedlings to be commercially planted in 2016 as originally planned. ”

Article by Ian Mc Murray

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