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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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US approval comes through, says BioVittoria

Hamilton-based natural sweetener company BioVittoria says it has gained key approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its fruit-based zero-calorie sweetener.The company said today the FDA had classed its Fruit-Sweetness branded monk frui

NZPA
Tue, 02 Feb 2010

Hamilton-based natural sweetener company BioVittoria says it has gained key approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its fruit-based zero-calorie sweetener.

The company said today the FDA had classed its Fruit-Sweetness branded monk fruit concentrate as GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) as a sweetener and flavour enhancer.

The FDA no objections letter was the final step in bringing monk fruit into the mainstream, said chief executive David Thorrold.

"This final piece of regulatory compliance is what the large food and beverage companies have been waiting for."

The sweetener is made from Chinese-grown luo han fruit. It is 200 times sweeter than cane sugar and sells for about $450kg, mostly to beverage, food and confectionary manufacturers.

The company expects to process 3000 tonnes of fruit from Miao and Yao hill tribe growers in mountainous areas of Guangxi province, southern China.

"Monk fruit has been a traditional food in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years, but the existing technology for cultivating and processing the fruit could not provide the volume, product consistency and taste quality needed in a natural sweetener for the food and beverage industry."

In December BioVittoria's bid to float on the stock exchange and raise $20 million fell short of the minimum subscription level of $8m.

The company said at the time it would instead try to raise new capital through a private round early in the new year, and was in discussions with a number of potential private investors in Europe, Asia, the US, and New Zealand.

It was likely that the majority of the new funding would come from overseas and the US approval would be a significant factor in the private round.

NZPA
Tue, 02 Feb 2010
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US approval comes through, says BioVittoria
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