Avansya, the joint venture between Cargill and dsm-firmenich, announced that the EverSweet stevia sweetener has received a positive safety opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), bringing the advanced sweetener one step closer to commercial availability in the European Union and UK. EverSweet stevia sweetener features components of the stevia leaf: steviol glycosides Reb M and Reb D. It allows for significant reduction in sugars while maintaining a high-quality sweet taste for reduced and zero calorie food and beverages, enabling food manufacturers to meet the rising demand for healthful and sustainable products, the company says. EverSweet is created through advanced fermentation methods, resulting in reduced water usage, minimal land use impact, and a lower carbon footprint than producing it by growing acres of plants, according to the company. Already available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other major markets, EFSA and FSA are the latest in a growing list of regulatory bodies to review the sweetener’s safety. Final authorization is expected in 2024, at which time EverSweet will become commercially available to European food and beverage manufacturers too.

AAK has expanded its AkoPlanet platform for plant-based foods in the United States. The expansion introduces a coconut oil that abides by high sustainability standards and supports AAK’s commitment as a leading supplier of sustainable plant-based ingredient solutions, while supporting farmers, and features traceability to the farm. With the introduction of AkoPlanet CNO 16-001 in the United States, this product is now available globally. AAK has been advocating for collective action on coconut sustainability for many years and is a founding member of the global platform that is working toward a more responsible and resilient coconut sector – The Sustainable Coconut Partnership, along with other leaders in the food and beverage industry. Due to a lack of agreement surrounding sustainable coconut practices in the industry, AAK’s participation in this global platform signifies its commitment to pave the way for a more sustainable coconut oil future, it says. AAK is committed to supporting a more sustainable coconut oil supply chain, it adds. “It is not common to have traceability to the farmer, knowing who has grown the coconuts that make the final oil and also working with suppliers on a long-standing strategic partnership,” said Ryan Branch, senior marketing manager at AAK USA, in a statement. “With AkoPlanet, AAK makes tastier, healthier, plant-based foods made with love for people, plants and the planet.”

Ingredion Inc. has completed the sale of its business in South Korea to an affiliate of the Sajo Group, a leading food company headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, for approximately $294 million, with $247 million, net of transaction costs, received Feb. 1, and the remainder to be received over the next three years. The transaction was announced Nov. 13, 2023. For the full-year 2023, Ingredion’s business in South Korea delivered net sales of $325 million (unaudited), it says. “The sale of our business in South Korea is an important step for Ingredion as we reshape our portfolio to unlock value and redeploy assets to create value for shareholders,” said Jim Zallie, Ingredion’s president and CEO, in a statement. “This action is part of our business transformation journey that further strengthens our focus on growth and supports our long-term strategic vision.” The company will work closely with the Sajo Group to ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders, it states.