VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 5, 2016) - GLG Life Tech Corporation (TSX:GLG) ("GLG" or the "Company"), a global and agricultural leader in the natural zero-calorie sweetener industry, committed to the sustainable development of high-quality zero-calorie natural sweeteners, announces today a significant update from its agricultural breeding program.
Through its continued development of its Reb C Gold varietal, GLG has produced a Reb C varietal with unprecedented levels of Reb C - over 79% - relative to total steviol glycosides or "TSG". The TSG content on a dry weight basis is an impressive 13% of leaf weight.
This success builds on GLG's prior achievement, announced in late 2014, of the first strain of Reb C Gold with Reb C levels at 53%. Reb C (short for Rebaudioside C) has historically been a scarce glycoside, typically found in leaf at levels of only 5 to 10%. GLG's 2014 announcement demonstrated its ability to achieve multiple factor increases in the levels of relatively scarce glycosides. That GLG has been able to up the levels by another 50% reflects well on GLG's agricultural prowess. It also bolsters GLG's ability to efficiently produce commercial quantities of high-purity Reb C extracts.
GLG's agricultural program is an ambitious endeavor to produce - all through non-GMO breeding - a number of specialized stevia varietals especially rich in one or more of Reb A, Reb C, Reb D, or Reb M. Last year, this program worked with over 5,000 samples and varieties of leaf. In the 2016 program, the GLG agriculture R&D team is expecting to have over 10,000 samples and varieties to analyze for plants with high amounts of Reb A, C, D, or M.
Today's announcement represents the initial success from the 2016 program. In 2015, GLG announced its development of specialized Reb M varietals - with Reb M content increasing a remarkable 1000%. Given the size and scope of GLG's program, its many years of specialized experience in breeding stevia, and its past successes, GLG expects to announce further achievements from this program later this year. Whether Reb A, Reb C, Reb D, or Reb M - or all of the above - the development of GLG's specialized varietals could be transformative for the stevia industry.
The Reb C Gold varietal has proven a great success. GLG has demonstrated its ability to go from discovery to initial planting in approximately two years. GLG has also confirmed its ability through lab trials with recently harvested Reb C Gold leaf to use simplified production processes that produce high-purity Reb C extracts at greatly reduced costs. These results underscore the promise made by GLG in 2014 - that Reb C Gold would enable it to achieve economically viable commercial production of high-purity Reb C extracts.
In 2017, GLG expects to plant commercial scale quantities of the Reb C Gold seedling. Dr. Luke Zhang, CEO and Chairman of GLG, commented: "We are excited to begin producing high-purity Reb C in commercial quantities this coming year. Today's announcement of even greater Reb C levels highlights GLG unique strengths in stevia agronomics. Given the increasing pace in the development of specialized varieties, I expect that we will continue to see a number of exciting new varieties coming from GLG's research team. These future varieties, with particular focus on Reb D and Reb M, are expected to make a big splash in the stevia industry."
In February 2015, GLG received its FDA Letter of No Objection regarding its high-purity Reb C extracts as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) for use as a sweetener. (GRN 536.)
About GLG Life Tech Corporation
GLG Life Tech Corporation is a global leader in the supply of high-purity zero calorie natural sweeteners including stevia and monk fruit extracts used in food and beverages. GLG's vertically integrated operations, which incorporate our Fairness to Farmers program and emphasize sustainability throughout, cover each step in the stevia and monk fruit supply chains including non-GMO seed and seedling breeding, natural propagation, growth and harvest, proprietary extraction and refining, marketing and distribution of the finished products. Additionally, to further meet the varied needs of the food and beverage industry, GLG has launched its Naturals+ product line, enabling it to supply a host of complementary ingredients reliably sourced through its supplier network in China. For further information, please visit www.glglifetech.com.
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