Seed Industry News: S&W Files Patent Application for Stevia Variety SW 227

Fresno, California: S&W Seed Company announced it has filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a unique stevia plant variety ‘SW 227.’ For a unique stevia variety, this is the fourth patent filed by S&W.

S&W believes ‘SW 227’ is ideally suited for the fresh and dry leaf market, which is characterized by the demand for a sweet tasting leaf, with low bitterness and aftertaste, where the leaf itself is directly utilized in the cooking or sweetening process.

Field trials have confirmed that ‘SW 227’ has an excellent, sweet leaf taste with very low bitterness and aftertaste, late flowering, high plant vigor characterized by extensive stooling and branching, enhanced dry leaf yields and leaves having an average rebaudioside a content of 10.7%. S&W’s focus is on developing varieties with unique, enhanced characteristics, providing added value along the entire supply chain.

Stevia rebaudiana is a plant species in the sunflower (Asteraceae) family, which has naturally non-caloric sweet leaves. The active compounds that impart the sweet flavor to stevia leaves are steviol glycosides. The most common steviol glycosides are stevioside and rebaudioside A, which have between 250 and 400 times the sweetness of sugar. Stevioside tends to be more prevalent in unimproved lines of stevia leaves than rebaudioside A. The development of new varieties of Stevia rebaudiana with higher levels of rebaudioside A than stevioside is desirable for use as a sugar substitute.

In field trials conducted in Ontario, Oregon, ‘SW 227’ yielded approximately 5,000 pounds of leaf per acre per year. In addition to the sweet leaf flavor with very little bitterness and aftertaste, ‘SW 227’ had leaves having an average rebaudioside A content measured at 10.7%;

“SW 227 in particular has dual capabilities of the improved taste, but also the added benefits of increased yield with more stems, which is a key requirement in the mechanization of harvesting. Our belief is that the development of varieties that can balance the taste requirements of consumers, with the yield requirements of farmers where they can profitably grow stevia in North and South America, provides S&W with the opportunity to be a leader in stevia for many years to come,” Mark Grewal, chief executive officer of S&W Seed Company informed.

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