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VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb 29, 2016) - GLG Life Tech Corporation (TSX:GLG) ("GLG" or the "Company"), a global leader in the agricultural and commercial development of high-quality zero-calorie natural sweeteners, is pleased to announce today a major breakthrough in its agricultural R&D program. Through this program, GLG aims to revolutionize the global food and beverage industry by providing companies with the ability to replace sugars and artificial sweeteners with naturally-sourced Rebaudioside M ("Reb M"). The program's latest accomplishment - a stevia leaf strain with Reb M levels more than ten times higher than conventional stevia leaf.
Reb M, one of several steviol glycosides found in the stevia plant, is highly desired in the industry as a natural, zero-calorie sugar and sweetener replacement, one that very closely resembles sugar. To date, the impediment to utilizing Reb M has been its scarce presence in the stevia leaf, making commercial use cost-prohibitive. Bringing a naturally-sourced Reb M extract to the market on a commercial scale requires a dramatic increase in the presence of Reb M glycosides in the leaf.
A dramatic increase in Reb M is just what GLG has achieved. Through development of its Reb M seedling using its non-GMO patented breeding methodology, GLG has now produced more than a 1000% increase in Reb M levels in stevia leaf. Conventional stevia leaf has Reb M concentrations at less than 0.1% of dry leaf weight, and less than 1% of total steviol glycosides (TSG). In GLG's seedling, Reb M constitutes over 1% of dry leaf weight, and over 8% of the TSG's. TSGs constitute about 13% of dry leaf weight in GLG's new seedling, which is still above the industry average of 10-12% of dry leaf weight.
The 1000% increase in Reb M glycosides in its new variety is the result of two key factors: (1) an expanded Reb M seedling development program that GLG undertook in 2015 and (2) the 25 years' experience of its chief agronomist. The 2015 program involved evaluating thousands of different stevia strains, requiring an extensive program to identify and promote the most promising strains. GLG's 2014 breakthrough with its high Rebaudioside C ("Reb C") seedlings clearly demonstrated the promise of its patented Non-GMO seedling hybridization technology to significantly increase scarce glycosides. And in 2015, GLG announced a stevia leaf strain with significantly enhanced levels of both Rebaudioside D ("Reb D") and Reb M. This latest achievement, focused specifically on Reb M, further demonstrates GLG's agricultural prowess.
GLG is in the process of filing for patent protection for its Reb D and Reb M seedlings. Dr. Luke Zhang, CEO and Chairman of GLG, commented: "Pursuing one or more seedling strains with especially high Reb M and Reb D continues to be our #1 agricultural R&D focus. The pace at which we have been making great strides forward has exceeded even our own expectations. I am confident that GLG will continue to make further significant improvements in the Reb M and Reb D glycoside content in its next generation seedlings as part of its ongoing agriculture program."
GLG has filed two GRAS applications with the FDA for high-purity Reb D (GRN 548) and Reb M (GRN 512), with purity levels ranging from 80% to 95% to be used as a sweetener.
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.
Forward-looking statements: This press release may contain certain information that may constitute "forward-looking statements" and "forward looking information" (collectively, "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes" or variations of such words and phrases or words and phrases that state or indicate that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved.
While the Company has based these forward-looking statements on its current expectations about future events, the statements are not guarantees of the Company's future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include amongst others the effects of general economic conditions, consumer demand for our products and new orders from our customers and distributors, changing foreign exchange rates and actions by government authorities, uncertainties associated with legal proceedings and negotiations, industry supply levels, competitive pricing pressures and misjudgments in the course of preparing forward-looking statements. Specific reference is made to the risks set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form for the financial year ended December 31, 2014. In light of these factors, the forward-looking events discussed in this press release might not occur.
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