The agreement grants a non-exclusive license for an evaluation period to explore the potential for using SweetBiotix technology to reduce the sugar content in a range of its dairy food products.
OptiBiotix previously announced five human taste studies of SweetBiotix had created interest from companies with expertise in the manufacture and commercialization of speciality ingredients and/or consumer products.
OptiBiotix said the new agreement reflects interest from one of these companies in exploring the use of SweetBiotix in its branded dairy products.
The company is a global brand and one of the world's largest providers of dairy products with an annual turnover exceeding $10bn. The details of the evaluation and terms of the agreement are confidential and no further details can be disclosed.
Stephen O'Hara, CEO of OptiBiotix, said the deal is part of a strategy of working with global partners who have the capability and expertise to manufacture speciality ingredients like SweetBiotix, and well-known consumer brands who have the specialist application expertise to incorporate the technology into their own branded products.
“This approach provides a low risk way to fully exploit the wide range of opportunities offered by our SweetBiotix technology," O’Hara said.
The company also noted the product’s value in countries dealing with sugar taxes on beverages, with some dairy beverages potentially in line for taxation.
SweetBiotix is composed of naturally sweet fibers with a taste similar to sucrose that are not digested in the gut, making it free from calories. A University of Reading study found the product has low off-flavors and tastes ‘significantly sweeter’ than other existing sweeteners and sugars.
OptiBiotix said the product works as a bulk sugar replacement in functional food and beverage formulations.
“By replacing refined sugar with SweetBiotix, manufacturers can respond positively to the tax and avoid the dilemma of passing the price changes on to customers or losing profits by shouldering the burden themselves. It really is a win-win solution for both the industry and the public, turning a potential manufacturing threat into an opportunity for companies to improve the nation’s health,” O’Hara said.