Sugar reduction has become an integral part of ingredient and food companies' portfolios in view of stricter government regulations and shifting consumer demands. Companies like Cargill and DSM are taking active roles in developing sugar reduction solutions, especially related to the natural sweetener stevia. Most of the first-generation stevia products are mainly based on purified rebaudioside A (Reb A), which comes with the well-known downside of leaving a metallic aftertaste. In recent years, the industry focus has shifted to other steviol glycosides, such as Reb M and Reb D, which have exceptional sweetness profiles without the bitter, metallic aftertaste. However, they are present in extremely low amounts in stevia leaves, presenting a huge scale-up challenge. To work around this issue, industry players like Cargill and DSM have turned to fermentation methods for the large-scale production of these rebaudiosides.
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