Coke, Cargill Team Up on New Sweetener

Based on herb called stevia, not yet approved in US
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted May 31, 2007 5:04 AM CDT
Visitors to the World of Coke in Atlanta walk past a large Coke sign, in this Feb. 14, 2007 file photo. The Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beverage maker, said Tuesday, April 17, 2007 its first-quarter...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Coke has teamed up with Cargill to produce and market the all-natural, calorie-free sweetener rebiana, based on a South American herb called stevia. Coke and Cargill plan to market it in 12 countries that have approved stevia as a food additive, while attempting to win regulatory approval in the US and EU.

Stevia has a controversial past; a 1985 study concluded that it could cause mutations in the liver. Potential fertility problems in men have also been cited. Coke plans to use the sweetener in beverages aimed at health-conscious consumers; Cargill is eying it for products like yogurt, ice cream, cereal, and candy.  (Read more Coca Cola stories.)