The Procter & Gamble Company has announced that Hunan Kinglong Bio-resources will be the exclusive Chinese licensee for P&G's proprietary Lo Han Guo processing technology.
The technology enables the processing of Lo Han Guo into a better-flavoured concentrated juice extract for use in fruit containing beverages. Under this agreement, Kinglong will use P&G's proprietary technology to extract and concentrate Lo Han Guo juice.
Lo Han Guo is an intensely sweet fruit grown on steep mountainsides primarily in the Guangxi District in the People's Republic of China. Typically, the fruits are dried in ovens shortly after harvesting and later used to brew a tea-like broth, or are commercially extracted and concentrated to form a thick, flavoured dark syrup.
P&G's proprietary process is said to produce a less intense odour and better colour, and is more suitable for use in a broad range of beverage applications. Because of its intense sweetness and flavour profile - similar to that of sugar - low levels of Lo Han Guo juice extract can be used to create lower calorie beverage formulations.
"Kinglong is an excellent company to commercialise this technology," said Dr Kenneth T. Smith, director of P&G's food & beverage technology development and head of P&G's Nutrition Science Institute. "Combing the two companies resources, Lo Han Guo can become, for the first time, a commercially viable juice for application in the beverage industry."
Professor Zhonghau Liu, vice president of Kinglong, added: "P&G's Lo Han Guo processing technology, coupled with our close location to where the fruit is harvested, will allow us to produce a higher quality, more marketable product. We believe this will greatly expand our sales into the Asian market and allow development of a new global beverage market. We are now installing new capacity and plan to have a commercial product available in May 2002."