Minneapolis-based Cargill and Royal DSM, Heerlen, the Netherlands, said they are establishing a joint venture, Avansya, to bring zero-calorie, cost-effective sweeteners to market faster. Together, the companies will produce highly sought-after sweet-tasting molecules such as steviol glycosides Reb M and Reb D through fermentation, giving food and beverage manufacturers an even more scalable, sustainable and low-cost-in-use solution than if these same molecules were extracted from the stevia leaf.

The new venture will combine both companies’ technologies for producing steviol glycoside products made through fermentation and will market its products under one brand name, EverSweet. The joint venture will be a 50-50 partnership between the two companies. The establishment of the joint venture is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the companies said,  but is expected to be finalized in the first calendar quarter of 2019.

According to Cargill and DSM, the partnership leverages the two companies’ highly complementary strengths for bringing to market fermentation-derived Reb M and Reb D steviol glycosides. DSM brings its leading biotechnology know-how, providing R&D expertise, including strain development and fermentation process development capabilities, as well as customer relationships in specific market segments. Cargill brings its application expertise and global commercial footprint in the sweetener market, as well as large-scale fermentation capacity with access to co-located raw material suppliers at its Blair, Neb., site.

The joint venture will make use of a new fermentation facility being built at the site in Blair, which is expected to be completed and operating in summer 2019.

“We are delighted to announce this game-changing joint venture with Cargill,” said Patrick Niels, DSM Food Specialties’ president. “One of the most significant transformations in global food and beverage markets is the drive to reduce sugar in people’s diets. This partnership will allow us to bring sustainably produced sugar-reduction solutions based on steviol glycosides to market faster and more effectively at a scale to deliver global impact.

He noted that both DSM and Cargill are “purpose-led companies” that desire to impact their societies positively and enable their customers’ brands and businesses to be successful in their markets.

“The demand for sugar-reduction solutions is urgent, global and growing fast,” said Chris Simons, Cargill’s vice president, Food Segment North America. “While consumers are searching out foods and beverages that help meet their dietary needs or goals, whether for a diabetic diet or simply reducing calories and sugar intake, brand owners know that great taste can’t be compromised. By partnering with DSM, we can further advance a commercialized Reb M & Reb D product line that offers what consumers desire.”