HOWTIAN® Receives 2nd FDA “No Questions” Letter for GRAS Notice of New Stevia Sweetener

GRAS Notification for SoPure™ Stevia Enzyme-Modified Steviol Glycosides

February 23, 2022 — HOWTIAN®, formerly known as Zhucheng Haotian Pharma Co., Ltd (ZCHT), has announced the reception of their 2nd FDA No Questions GRAS notice for another stevia sweetener product. GRAS Associates, a fully owned subsidiary of Nutrasource, successfully submitted the notice to the FDA on behalf of HOWTIAN, the world’s largest manufacturer of natural stevia extracts.

“We are excited to receive the Letter of No Objection from the FDA to our Enzyme Modified Steviol Glycosides (EMSG) GRAS notification. The response underscores the safety of HOWTIAN’s EMSG products, opening the opportunity to use them in a wide range of applications,” said Mavis Ran, Business Director at HOWTIAN. “HOWTIAN’s leaf-based product portfolio, which also includes our natural stevia extracts, minor glycosides, and specialized blends, offers more possibilities now to address the increasing consumer demand for low sugar or zero sugar food and beverage products using non-artificial sweeteners.”

Glycosoylated stevia products offer improved taste via enzyme-treated steviol glycosides that are extracted from the leaf. These can serve as sweeteners or flavor enhancers, mask unpleasant flavors and augment overall taste.

Amy Mozingo, Vice President of US Nutra Regulatory Sciences, Nutrasource/GRAS Associates shared, “GRAS Associates is pleased to have assisted adding another steviol glycoside preparation into the HOWTIAN portfolio permitted for import and use in the US marketplace with the successful GRAS conclusion and notification to FDA for their enzyme-modified steviol glycosides (GRN 999).”

About Enzyme Modified Steviol Glycosides Associated with this GRAS Notice

  • Enzyme modified steviol glycosides are produced when additional glucose moieties are bonded to the original steviol glycoside structure via α(1–>4) linkages.
  • With this GRAS Notice (GRN 999, Enzyme-modified steviol glycosides) – there are two preparations covered:
    1. SoPure Stevia™ glucosylated steviol glycosides – GSG 80 (≥80% total steviol glycosides with ≥75% glucosylated steviol glycosides and ≤20% dextrin)
    2. GSG 95 (≥95% total steviol glycosides with ≥75% glucosylated steviol glycosides and ≤5% dextrin)


HOWTIAN® is a global leader in producing and supplying premium quality natural sweeteners, nutritional and functional ingredients, and a full-service solutions provider for the food & beverage, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries. Creators of innovative ingredient brands including SoPure™ Stevia and PureQQ® Pyrroloquinoline Quinone. HOWTIAN (formerly known as ZCHT) is a privately owned enterprise that was incorporated in 1999. Over the last decades, HOWTIAN has grown into a global leader in naturally extracted stevia products, and one of the world’s top 7 ingredient businesses in sugar reduction. Alongside its flagship stevia business, HOWTIAN is a global leader in the production of inositol and baicalin root extracts, serving customers in over 80 countries.

Zhucheng Haotian Pharma Co., Ltd (ZCHT), SoPure™ Stevia Manufacturer, Announces New Corporate Brand HOWTIAN®

New HOWTIAN corporate brand name reflects the company’s expanded global footprint and a strengthened dedication to sustainability

February 22, 2022 — Zhucheng Haotian Pharma Co., Ltd (ZCHT) – maker of SoPure™, the world’s leading commercial brand of natural stevia, and also the world’s #1 manufacturer of inositol – has announced it will now be operating as HOWTIAN®.

The new brand name and corporate identity reflects the substantial growth and evolution of the business since its inception in 1999. It began as a small manufacturer of inositol, a versatile health ingredient that belongs to the Vitamin B family and that is commonly used in human and animal nutrition for its variety of benefits. Today, the business is one of the world’s largest naturally processed stevia companies, with over 1,000 employees operating in 80 countries and with customers across the food, beverage, nutrition, and pharmaceutical industries.

“Having expanded into new markets with our expertise in innovative ingredient solutions and product formulation, we wanted this new brand name – which pays homage to our original name – to represent our diversified product portfolio and to consolidate our operational capabilities into one entity,” says Tom Fuzer, VP of Marketing at HOWTIAN. “We’re excited to launch this new chapter and we are looking forward to innovating more and accelerating our growth internationally.”

The HOWTIAN identity also represents a renewal of its mission to sustainably produce and supply premium natural ingredients at virtually any scale for business around the globe. The new corporate logo consists of three leaves in the shape of an “H” in green and yellow, representing HOWTIAN’s flourishing, naturally farmed crops. Its design signifies the company’s commitment to natural products, ethical farming, and sustainability.

“To support farming communities and promote environmental stewardship, we employ the Favorable Contract Farming Model,” adds Fuzer. “This model ensures fair wages while preserving natural resources. It includes initiatives to achieve zero waste, optimal usage of byproducts, and minimal energy usage.”

Along with the new logo is a new website that details the company’s portfolio of ingredients and services, as well as its mission and history.

In recent years, the business had made significant investments in building broader, end-to-end solutions and services. Its Technical and Application Groups provide customized formulation support for customers in the food, beverage and nutritional sectors, as well as pre-mixing and blending services. Trained sensory teams are also available to support product testing. In-house regulatory teams provide guidance on meeting compliance requirements around the world.

In little more than two decades since its founding, the company has undergone rapid growth. In 2012, SoPure™ Stevia was launched, and on its way to becoming the largest stevia manufacturing operation in the world today, as well as one of the world’s top seven sweetener businesses. Since this time, it has continued to develop a number of other ingredients as additions to its portfolio of inositol and stevia. This includes functional ingredients such as PureQQ® Pyrroloquinoline Quinone, baicalin, and vitamin E powder.

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HOWTIAN, established in 1999, is a manufacturer of Inositol, Baicalin, Stevia (SoPure™) and Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PureQQ®) products, as well as various plant-based ingredients for food & beverage, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries. It is the world’s largest producer of stevia and inositol. Its global team includes R&D engineers, agricultural scientists, marketing and sales staff, global compliance experts, and supply chain support teams. It is committed to sustainable production, supporting farming communities, and end-to-end customer support.

SoPure™ Stevia Attains FSA Silver Level Verification

SoPure™ Stevia Attains FSA Silver Level Verification

We’re excited to announce that HOWTIAN’s line of all-natural SoPure™ stevia products have just been successfully verified by SAI Platform and their Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Program. Our stevia has attained the distinct honor of the FSA Silver Level verification.

SAI (Sustainable Agricultural Initiative) Platform is a non-profit organization established by Nestlé, Unilever, and Danone and funded by stakeholders with the vision to support agricultural supply chains and its farmers, operational systems, and consumers while upholding sustainable practices that protect the Earth’s resources. The organization focuses on research studies, trainings, webinars, and initiatives that share knowledge on best practices for sustainable sourcing and agriculture.

One of SAI’s key initiatives is the FSA program, which is an audit that evaluates sustainability of processes and products in the following categories: arable crops, fruit, vegetables, and crop-based raw materials. The FSA checklist includes guidelines such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and centers on three key areas – people, planet, and profit (PPP). It is designed to be a diagnostic tool and claim that simplifies the process for adherence to global standards for sustainable agriculture.

The auditing and verification process involved many months of close collaboration between our growers and the auditing organization SGS, rigorous assessments of our farming practices and facilities, as well as independent review of the conditions and welfare of our farmers. We are immensely proud of this achievement and would like to express our deep appreciation to everyone for their contributions to this success.

Learn about HOWTIAN’s efforts towards building a sustainable future: