Stevia

Free2b's sunflower chocolate cups were one of many allergen-friendly chocolates showcased at Expo West in Anaheim, March 6-9, 2019. Pic: K. Sherred

Expo West

Free-from and alt-sugars rule chocolate offerings at Expo West

By Kristine Sherred

Confectionery and chocolate might not seem an ideal fit for a natural foods show, but longstanding artisan chocolate brands found their place at Expo West alongside new companies looking to make their mark on the industry.

Roughly 80% of PureCircle's 2018 planted stevia will be its StarLeaf stevia launched last year, the company said. ©GettyImages/y-studio

PureCircle to bump up stevia planting by 200% in 2018

By Mary Ellen Shoup

PureCircle is set to plant nearly 16,000 tons of stevia in 2018 - a 200% increase from the year before - to meet increasing global industry demand for a zero-calorie sweetener that tastes ‘the most sugar-like.’

Luo han means monk in Chinese and guo means fruit. © iStock/breath10

Chinese supplier Layn to bring monk fruit to Europe

By Niamh Michail

Chinese supplier Guilin Layn Natural Ingredients wants to be the first firm to sell monk fruit in Europe, and has submitted a request for a scientific opinion to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).