Icon Foods, an ingredient supplier with a goal of supporting the growth of clean-label snack and bakery production, has introduced SteviaSweet RM95, a 95% Rebaudioside M (Reb M) stevia with a clean flavor profile that reportedly is free of the bitter notes often associated with other forms of stevia. A high-intensity, zero-calorie natural sweetener, SteviaSweet RM95 is intended to provide food and beverage makers with a neutral, sweet taste without the use of flavor maskers. It also is said to well with other high-intensity sweeteners as a sweetness or flavor modulator. 

“With its balanced flavor, SteviaSweet RM95 allows formulators to naturally sweeten with stevia and achieve a clean taste,” says Thom King, CEO of Icon Foods. “The result is a flavor remarkably similar to sugar without the need for expensive taste modifiers or maskers, which can also extend development times. This next-generation stevia sweetener will support faster innovation and quicker revenue generation for our customers.”

SteviaSweet RM95 is a stevia extract powder with a minimum 95% concentration of Reb M, one of many steviol glycosides that give the Stevia rebaudiana leaf its sweet flavor. According to the manufacturer, Reb M has a less bitter aftertaste, less sourness, less licorice and leafy notes, and lower astringency compared with Reb A, the most commonly used and abundant steviol glycoside. 

“Blind qualitative descriptive analysis taste testing found that SteviaSweet RM95 delivers a natural sweet flavor very comparable to sugar in water,” King says. “Formulations with Reb A often face limitations due to the strong licorice and bitter taste. With its proprietary sourcing and chemical-free extraction method, SteviaSweet RM95 can achieve high levels of natural sweetness without the unwanted off-notes.”

Manufactured in the U.S. and bio-converted from stevia leaves grown in Peru,  SteviaSweet RM95 reportedly is perceived as being 20%-40% sweeter than Reb A stevia, offsetting the cost in use as less is needed to achieve the same level of sweetness. It is suited for a variety of applications including baked goods, such as sweet goods, bars, cereals, and other items; carbonated and noncarbonated beverages; dairy and nondairy products, including yogurt, milks, and ice cream; fruit products; condiments, including jams and jellies; nutraceuticals; and more.