SweeGen, a Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.-based sweetener supplier, and Ingredion Incorporated, a Westchester, Ill., provider of ingredient solutions, said they agreed to extend their relationship on a nonexclusive basis for three more years, while improving the ease of doing business with customers.

"Ingredion has been a global distributor for SweeGen and a great partner to support the commercialization of our next-generation stevia sweeteners,” said Katharina Pueller, director, natural sweetener business, SweeGen. “We are pleased to extend this partnership to continue to leverage each partner’s strengths while eliminating unnecessary exclusivity barriers to execution.”

Ingredion and SweeGen were the first suppliers to commercialize Reb M by bioconversion in early 2017, the companies said. Reb M is a noncaloric stevia sweetener that provides sweetness with a clean, sugar-like taste and enables food and beverage manufacturers to reduce sugar without sacrificing taste.

SweeGen’s unique production process starts with the stevia leaf and uses a patented bioconversion process to achieve high-purity clean-tasting Reb M and Reb D. Together, SweeGen and Ingredion said they have successfully helped customers formulate and launch innovative no- and low-sugar products.

"The sugar-reduction trend is shaping the way manufacturers formulate, and extending our partnership with SweeGen allows Ingredion to continue to provide solutions that unlock the reduction in sugar to meet customer and consumer demands,” said Nate Yates, global sugar reduction platform lead, Ingredion. “Ingredion and SweeGen can now operate in a different structure enabling an enhanced customer experience.”