Food In Canada

Conagen produces two thaumatin protein natural sweeteners at scale 

March 23, 2022  
by Food in Canada staff

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Conagen scales up production of two new high-intensity sweeteners, thaumatin I and thaumatin II. The development will expand commercial partner Sweegen’s sugar reduction solutions of zero-sugar natural sweeteners.

Thaumatin is a group of proteins found in the fruits of the tropical plant Thaumatococcus danielli. Each protein, thaumatin I and thaumatin II, varies slightly in sweetness profiles. Both proteins have been evaluated as 100,000 times sweeter than sugar on a molar basis and 3,000 times sweeter on a weight basis. The high sweetness factor can translate into a strategic cost-effective sugar reduction solution for brands seeking to get the most out of a natural sweetener.

The thaumatin proteins were developed from Conagen’s peptide production platform, which had previously been used for the scaled production of another peptide sweetener, brazzein.

“Conagen constantly improves its protein and peptide production platforms to generate more exciting new products,” said Casey Lippmeier, vice-president of innovation at Conagen. “In this case, the platform has been leveraged to make thaumatin by several innovative approaches, but under a significantly shorter R&D timeline.”

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These two new, high-purity thaumatin proteins add to Sweegen’s portfolio of sugar reduction solutions to help brands make low-calorie products.

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