Exhibition Time: 10-12 May 2022
Exhibition Location: Palexpo Geneva, Switzerland
Booth No. D161
The HOWTIAN team will be at Vitafoods Europe 2022. Vitafoods is one of Europe’s premier events for the nutraceutical industry, and this year’s event will be in Geneva from May 10th – May 12th. It’s the perfect show to exhibit our comprehensive portfolio of natural health and functional ingredients for dietary supplements, sports nutrition, and much more. Stop by Booth No. D161, where we’ll be demonstrating our newest innovations and product applications featuring PureQQ® pyrroloquinoline quinone, Inositol and SoPure™ Stevia. We look forward to seeing you there!
April 12, 2022 — Food & Beverage Asia interviewed and profiled HOWTIAN in an in-depth feature discussing stevia’s adoption among consumers in recent years, the yet-untapped potential of Asian markets, and the next generation of stevia products. Tom Fuzer, VP of Market Strategy, shares insights on marketplace trends and innovation in the stevia industry.
“The stevia market has increased rapidly over the last decade or so, and the growth is projected to continue in the coming years,” he continued. “Industry experts forecast an annual growth rate of 8-9% in the next 6-7 years, so the outlook is very promising. With these dynamics, stevia is one of the fastest-growing sweeteners, way ahead of the others mentioned.”
This is so especially in Asia, where he identified Japan as one of the most mature stevia makets globally. The region is tapped as having the highest potential for growth for stevia. “There are still many untapped opportunities in this part of the world,” he said. “Despite providing more than 80% of the global production, stevia is still relatively unknown among Chinese consumers. The growth potential is also huge in India and SouthEast Asia.”
The HOWTIAN agricultural science centre and their R&D laboratories have developed new leaf variants with third and fourth generation minor glycosides for further applications. For stronger sugar reduction, he continued, these products and HOWTIAN’s signature blends deliver a sensorial experience.
Fuzer said: “Our R&D team is focused on innovating to make naturally extracted, high-quality stevia much more accessible for markets around the world… Our mission is to bring the best stevia solutions closer to people and change its current position as a high cost, niche, luxury sweetener. Our agricultural science team is continuously developing new leaf variants that provide excellent taste with even better yield.
Read the full article at Food & Beverage Asia here.
New protein products made with soy, pea, rice, and fava bean are being formulated with plant-based sweeteners to meet consumer demand
Popularity Of Plant Proteins Soars As Consumers Seek More Plant-Based Foods
Plant proteins have become a hot food trend around the world. A recent study at the International Food Information Council indicates that plants are the fastest-growing source of proteins for consumers in the past year. North America accounts for 38% of the $9.7 billion dollar market, growing at a rate of 7.31%, according to Mordor Intelligence. A Nielsen study reports that 52% of US consumers are eating more plant-based foods than ever before because they believe it makes them healthier. To meet this growing consumer demand, food manufacturers have been developing plant protein products with improved texture and taste – with sweetness playing a particularly important role in improving the overall flavor profile.
Soy, Pea, Fava, and Rice Proteins Growing in Popularity
While soy protein still holds the largest market share of plant proteins, pea and rice proteins are growing at a faster pace. Pea protein is a popular option as it provides 9 essential amino acids but comes with some earthy and other off-notes. Rice protein, also growing in popularity, doesn’t provide a full amino acid profile (it lacks lysine) but can be combined with quinoa, chia, and other proteins to compensate. Fava bean has a cleaner flavor, a full amino acid profile, and is easily digestible, but is a higher-cost product.
Stevia a “Natural” Sweetener Choice for Plant Protein Formulas
Plant-based sweeteners like stevia — extracted steviol glycosides from the stevia plant leaf — are a great addition to plant proteins as they help to mask off-notes or provide sweetness. They are also an excellent choice because stevia does not get treated like sugar when digested. And since it’s not metabolized like sugar, it has minimal to no effects on blood glucose, insulin levels, and blood pressure, which is an added benefit to shoppers looking to minimize sugar levels in their diet. When sweetened with stevia, plant protein products may be labeled by manufacturers with claims such as “plant-based ingredients” or “vegetarian” on the front panel. Given the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, these are among the top claims that drive consumer preference.
Plant Protein Product Spotlight: Nicks Karamell Swirl Vegan Frozen Dessert
Nicks Karamell Swirl Vegan Frozen Dessert is a new plant protein product made with a variety of sweeteners and bulking agents from Innova. Dairy alternative applications are likely where you will see plant protein used the most.
Reduced-Sugar Cheesecake Brownies with Rice Protein
At the Supply Side West 2019 trade show, we displayed a cheesecake brownie made with rice bran extract and our flavor masker DGS TN. The masker works well with a variety of plant proteins and is labeled as a natural flavor. Allulose and Reb M were used to replace the bulk and sweetness of the sugar.
HOWTIAN has evaluated most major suppliers’ protein types and can provide recommendations based on flavor and price. We also have an expanded portfolio of complementary ingredients to stevia, so please contact us for samples or formulation advice!
March 9, 2022 — Tom Fuzer, VP of Market Strategy at HOWTIAN, recently had a conversation with Jim Cornall at the Dairy Reporter. He discussed launching the new HOWTIAN brand, our farming programs that are leading the industry in sustainability, and the future of the stevia market.
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:
SoPure Stevia™ glucosylated steviol glycosides – GSG 80 (≥80% total steviol glycosides with ≥75% glucosylated steviol glycosides and ≤20% dextrin)
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.
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.
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.
Exhibition Time: 12-13 Apr 2022
Exhibition Location: MeadowlandsExposition Center, Secaucus, NJ USA
Booth No. 509
This year’s SupplySide East exhibition will be held April 12-13 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. SSE is one of the top ingredients tradeshows on the East Coast, and offers a unique opportunity to connect with leading product development teams and C-level execs from across the dietary supplement, food, beverage, personal care and sports nutrition industries.
We are excited to exhibit at this show again and look forward to showcase our newest innovations in the sugar reduction as well as health and nutrition space. In addition to SoPure™ Stevia and PureQQ® pyrroloquinoline quinone, we will be showcasing a variety of nutritional and functional products. You are cordially invited to our booth (#509) to meet our team, view our portfolio of ingredients, and experience our latest ingredient solutions for product research & development.
Exhibition Time：May 31 – June 2 2022
Exhibition Location: National Exhibition and Convention Center
Address: NO. 333 Songze Avenue, Shanghai
Booth No. 21N20
The annual Food Ingredients China (FIC) exhibition will be held May 31 – June 2 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China. One of the largest tradeshows of its kind, the FIC covers all fields within the food industry, including suppliers of food additives and ingredients, food-related packing materials and machinery, and businesses specializing in production techniques. We look forward to exhibiting at this show and invite you to visit us at booth #21N20. In addition to our popular SoPure™ Stevia and specialty stevia formulations, we will showcase many of the plant-based and functional ingredients in our portfolio including inositol, baicalin, and PureQQ® pyrroloquinoline quinone.
When formulating or reformulating a product with stevia, the sugar reduction process can sometimes encounter challenges since stevia has different sweetening properties from sugar. Additionally, when it comes to stevia, there is a broad family of glycosides and blends, all with varying properties and flavor profiles as well. To break down these complexities, our experts have created this simple step-by-step guide to formulating with stevia.
The first step to identifying the best type of stevia for your formulation is to calculate the appropriate amount of sugar, HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), or other sweetener that would be replaced with stevia. Once you know the sucrose equivalent, read our starter guide on the best types of stevia and recommended usage levels, based on the sweetness you’re looking to replace.
Step 2. Reference Application Matrix for Recommended Stevia
Additionally, we’ve created this convenient Application Matrix that shows our recommended stevia varieties based on sucrose equivalence and application type.
If you are looking to reduce sugar by a small amount, you may be able to use native stevia extract or stevia-derived natural flavors called GSG (Glucosyl Steviol Glycosides). With these options you have the option not to list “Stevia extract” in the ingredients and instead use “Natural Flavor” on your label – which may be applicable if the country your product is launched in follows FEMA guidelines. Small sugar reductions can also help you save on ingredient costs as long as you don’t need to bulk back with other more expensive ingredients.
Recommended GSG Use Levels by Application Type
Glucosyl Steviol Glycosides (GSG)Type
Baked / Snack
Step 3. Add Erythritol or Allulose for Sugar-Free Applications
Do you need more upfront sweetness, particularly for sugar-free applications? You may want to consider adding erythritol or allulose. Just note, these ingredients cost significantly more than sugar so this would have to be factored into the overall product development.
Step 4. Increase Sweetness with Plant-Based Ingredients
Has your sweetness from stevia plateaued and you still need more sweetness? Consider combining with Andromeda II — our unique blend of steviol glycosides — or adding monkfruit to further increase the sweetness impact on highly-sweetened products.
Step 5. Add Bulk for Bakery and Confectionery Products
Is your sugar reduction application a bakery, confection, or other product that requires bulking the product back to its original weight? You may want to consider adding bulk using flour, water, maltodextrin or ingredients already in the formula. In addition, isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO) is a sweet bulking syrup that our experts often recommend.
Below is a chart that is used to differentiate between various sweetener options with relative sweetness, calories, solubility, and Glycemic Index values.
% Solubility (at 25ºC)
62 – 70
62 – 70
90 – 100
1.5 – 2.4
90 – 100
10 – 30
1.2 – 2.1
34 – 50
25 – 45
15 – 30
10 – 75
50 – 60
5 – 10
Step 6. Balance Acid Levels and Modulate Flavors as Needed
Once you’ve finalized the sweetness level, you may need to adjust and recalibrate other ingredients in the formula. One common example is balancing stevia with levels of acid, which is often found in sweetened products. If your application is a ready-to-drink beverage, be sure to monitor the shelf life if the product is near or below a pH of 3. Stevia may degrade over time in very high-acid conditions and when stored in ambient or warmer conditions.
If you notice a sweetness linger that cannot be resolved using a more premium stevia, you may try adding 100-200ppm of a sodium source like salt. You can also add a couple natural flavors like our cost-effective DSG Flavor TN or DGS Flavor FH-80, which is also a sweetness enhancer. These flavors block off-notes from other ingredients in your product like vitamins, CBD, or proteins. In the formulation example below, our DGS TN flavor helped cover some off-notes from the vitamin mix in our PQx Prevail beverage product.
Plus – Stevia Flavor
Howtian PQQ, Acid
Howtian DGS TN Flavor
Step 7. Add Nutritional Value with PQQ, Inositol, and Vitamin E
Could your product development benefit from nutritional additives? You should consider formulating with Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ) for a healthy mind, heart, and body. Inositol is great for skin health and supporting good energy levels, while the more bio-available Vitamin E is also a good addition for its benefits as a powerful antioxidant.
In need of more detailed guidance for your formulation? View our webinar which covers the complete product development process. If you’re interested in learning more or partnering with us, please get in touch and contact one of our experts.
Stevia and stevia-derived ingredients can be labeled as natural flavors in many countries around the world, but only within certain limits on use levels specified by international guidelines. There are many reasons manufacturers using stevia may want to declare it as a “natural flavor” on their label. This may include brands or flavor companies that are reformulating and adding stevia, but would prefer to avoid changing their existing product label. While consumer favorability of stevia continues to significantly improve, some manufacturers may still prefer to avoid listing stevia as an ingredient on their labels. Increasing regulation and policies around product labeling can be a factor as well.
Natural Flavor Labeling Guidelines from FEMA
The Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) is an industry organization that works with government legislators and regulators, and the association creates and issues labeling guidelines for flavors. Its guidelines are widely followed by many countries around the globe, including the US. For its guidelines around stevia as a natural flavor, the FEMA panel reviews data that validates whether the flavor on its own tastes sweet or not at low levels.
FEMA maintains and catalogs a vast library of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) ingredients. Many pure stevia extracts have a FEMA number in its library of flavor ingredients. The table below lists these stevia types, along with the corresponding FEMA number and an example of usage level in common applications. Please review the FEMA number on their website for specific application limits.
FEMA Number and Guideline to Label as a Natural Flavor
Reb A 60
FEMA 4771, Most applications < 30ppm, Gum < 200ppm
Reb A 80
FEMA 4772, Most applications < 35ppm, Gum < 234ppm
Stevia can sometimes be processed with an enzyme to improve a formulation’s taste profile, slightly increase upfront sweetness, and provide taste-masking — or even a slight mouth-feel — to a product. This type of stevia is called Glucosylated Steviol Glycosides (GSG), or enzyme-modified stevia. There are multiple FEMA numbers for this type of stevia product, the most common one being FEMA 4728. Please see the tables below for a current list and specific application limits.
Natural Flavor Usage Limits by GSG Stevia Product Type
GSG Stevia Product Type
Usage Limits as Natural Flavor
Glucosylated steviol glycosides
See chart below
Glucosylated stevia extract
Most applications < 100ppm
Enzyme-modified stevia, stevioside 20%
See chart below
Glucosylated steviol glycosides, 70-80%
See chart below
Glucosylated steviol glycosides, 40%
Most applications < 135ppm
Glucosylated steviol glycosides, 90%
Most applications < 100ppm
Glucosylated stevia extract 40% with 14% Rebaudioside A
Most applications < 60ppm
Stevia rebaudiana extract with Rebaudiosides A and M
Most applications < 50ppm
Glucosylated steviol glycosides 90% supraglucosylated rebaudioside A
Most applications < 70ppm
Glucosylated steviol glycosides 91% supraglucosylated rebaudioside D
Important Considerations for Natural Flavor Labeling of Stevia
As already described, stevia can be labeled as a natural flavor in a vast variety of product applications. However, one application where this isn’t the case is tabletop sweeteners. For such products as well as other sugar substitute applications (i.e. baking blend sold in a stand-up pouch), natural flavor labeling for stevia is typically not allowed at any use level.
Although many international markets follow FEMA guidelines, some countries adhere to different regulations on labeling of natural flavors in their products. As an example, companies in China don’t conform to FEMA but regulations there do allow GSGs to be added as flavoring.
Additionally, when looking to label stevia as a natural flavor, it isn’t recommended to combine it with multiple sweetness enhancers. This is particularly the case for Flavors with Modifying Properties (FMPs) such as stevia derivatives, monk fruit, erythritol, and allulose since the combination may produce too sweet a taste even at these low use levels. Of course, our experts always recommend reviewing with your regulatory and legal teams regarding the proper labeling of ingredients.
In need of more detailed guidance for your formulation? Partner with us and learn more about formulating with stevia and natural flavor labeling requirements. Contact one of our experts for your product development and formulation needs!