SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 5, 2013) - Stevia First Corp. (OTCQB: STVF) ("Stevia First" or the "Company"), an early-stage agribusiness based in California's Central Valley growing region and focused on the industrial scale production of stevia, the all-natural zero-calorie sweetener that is rapidly transforming the food and beverage industry, advised today the start of a series of feasibility studies aimed at the development of new steviol glycoside extraction methods, and intended to offer significantly improved economies of scale, in the future development of domestic stevia production.
Much of the stevia industry was developed as long as 20 or 30 years ago in China and Japan, catering to the Japanese introduction of stevioside as a sweetener in the 1970s. Stevia First is pursuing novel methods of extraction, conducting work internally and obtaining validation through industry collaborators for the development of modernized stevia leaf extraction methods. In several cases, these technologies have been demonstrated in peer-reviewed literature to offer superior extraction efficiencies over currently-used techniques that rely heavily on organic solvents.
Stevia First aims to leapfrog past the current overseas technologies and to utilize modern tools for natural products extraction. These efforts could enable the company to perform stevia leaf extraction more reliably, economically, and in compliance with the stringent food safety and environmental standards of the U.S. and California.
Company CEO Robert Brooke states, "These studies are a key component in our overall goal to build a California stevia industry that adopts mechanized practices and extraction methods designed to effectively compete with overseas producers that rely on labor-intensive practices. For Stevia First, our focus especially is newer technologies that have the potential to greatly increase stevia leaf yield, increase steviol glycoside content, improve steviol glycoside extraction efficiency, or otherwise improve the economics of domestic stevia leaf and extract production."
About Stevia First Corp. (OTCQB: STVF)
Stevia First Corp. is seeking to establish a vertically-integrated enterprise in the U.S. that uses technological expertise in fermentation-based stevia production and improves upon traditional stevia farming and processing methods. Stevia First's U.S. operations are located in the heart of California's Central Valley, one of the world's most productive agricultural regions. For more information visit: www.steviafirst.com.
About the Stevia Industry
The market for all-natural, zero-calorie stevia sweeteners is expanding rapidly. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates stevia intake could eventually replace 20-30% of all dietary sweeteners. The total global sweetener market was estimated at $58.3 billion in 2010. For more information visit: www.steviafirst.com.
Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27(a) of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press release which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, projections of worldwide sales of stevia products, growth of stevia production and global markets. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with new projects and development stage companies. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that any beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure outlined in our annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.