The Coca Cola Company's 'Sweetener Challenge' comes as a response to the growing public sentiment against sugar in food and beverages. The massive beverage conglomerate has put out a challenge to food scientists and researchers to develop a low- or no-calorie sweetener that can serve as a substitute to sugar, with a one million dollar prize for the winning entry.
As more information about the ill health effects of sucrose come to the fore, consumers are increasingly looking for options that offer taste great without being loaded with the compound. For researchers, the guidelines for finding this miracle sweetener are deceptively simple: it should be safe and natural, and it must not contain stevia, lo han guo (also known as monk fruit), or any species or substance listed as protected. Beyond those restrictions, researchers and scientists can submit any compound that's safe for consumption.
The company will announce its round of semi-finalists early in 2018, and after another round of extensive testing, it will award the million dollar grand prize toward the end of the year.