S&W Seed Company has filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for stevia plant variety ‘SW 227’.
This is the fourth patent filed by S&W for a unique stevia variety.
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%.
The company says ‘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.
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%; an average stevioside content measured at 1.4%; an average ratio of rebaudioside A to stevioside measured at 7.6; average total steviol glycoside content measured at 13.3%; and an average percentage of rebaudioside A to total steviol glycosides measured at 80.4% in field trials.
Previously S&W filed patents for varieties ‘SW 107’ and ‘SW 129,’ designed to be grown for commercial processors that make stevia derivatives for the mass market, as well as ‘SW 201’, another variety with an improved leaf taste profile that is well suited for producing fresh and dry leaf stevia.