PureCircle reformulates Skinny Drinks Group with Synergy Flavours and Starleaf Reb M extract

PureCircle, acquired by Ingredion, has collaborated with Synergy Flavours to create a range of zero-sugar tonics sweetened with PureCircle Reb M stevia extract. Formulated for beverage company Skinny Drinks Group, together the ingredient businesses have created a zero-sugar tonic with a punchy, sugary taste and optimal mouthfeel.

Ian Minton, founder at Skinny Drinks Group, commented: “Creating tonics with optimum taste and mouthfeel whilst keeping sugar off the ingredients list is vital to us. We don’t expect consumers to have to compromise between flavour and sugar content. So, when we started working with PureCircle and Synergy Flavours on a tonic that could deliver it all, we were really impressed and couldn’t be happier with the final result.”

The company’s previous tonic ranges had been formulated using traditional Reb A stevia extract, which might come with some flavour limitations. As such, Skinny Drinks Group was keen to explore the benefits of PureCircle Starleaf Reb M, which delivers sugar-like taste. In addition to the reformulation of existing products, three new flavours are being added to Skinny Drinks Group range – blueberry, orange and strawberry, as well as a new range of children’s drinks and adult sodas.

Chris Draper, UK sales manager at PureCircle, added: “We have been working with the stevia leaf for over 20 years, and have invested millions to understand it better. Launched over a decade ago, Reb A was the first stevia product to market but when dosed above a certain level, the flavour can be affected, which limits the scope of sugar reduction or removal of artificial sweeteners.

“We’ve discovered more than 60 different glycosides in the leaf, all of which have slightly different properties and can be used to deliver different results in application. In doing so, we realised that the best tasting of these glycosides are only present in small proportions, and so decided to breed a new leaf that was higher in those better-tasting molecules; this became Starleaf.”

Vicky Berry, European business development manager at Synergy Flavours, concluded: “We relished the opportunity to help to develop an optimised tonic base with Reb M by layering flavours and extracts which work in harmony with the stevia. We helped formulate these tonics originally to scientifically pair with the key aroma compounds in gin, to deliver the best flavour. Despite the added challenges of the pandemic, with much of the project work between Synergy Flavours, PureCircle and the team at Skinny Drinks Group, having to be done remotely, this reformulation with Reb M, delivers great taste, with no sugar.”