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stevia first corp (STVF) Key Developments

Stevia First Corporation Auditor Raises 'Going Concern' Doubt

Stevia First Corporation filed its 10-K on Jun 30, 2014 for the period ending Mar 31, 2014. In this report its auditor, Weinberg & Company, P.A., gave an unqualified opinion expressing doubt that the company can continue as a going concern.

Stevia First Corporation Provides Scale-Up Data for Reb A Production from Enzyme Enhancement

Stevia First Corp. disclosed industrial scale-up data for its purified Rebaudioside A alternative sweetener products derived from an enzyme enhancement process. In 2013, Stevia First achieved success in converting low-grade stevia extract directly into highly purified stevia extract using an enzyme enhancement process. Stevia First has filed new intellectual property related to this process and has been working extensively towards commercialization and implementation at an industrial scale. Upon successful implementation, the company intends to implement an annual minimum of 200 metric tons capacity for high purity Reb A through contract manufacturers or strategic partners. The process could enable Stevia First to directly convert low-grade stevia extract, which is commonly marketed for $40,000 per metric ton, into highly purified Reb A, which is often marketed for $100,000 per metric ton or more. The company recently formed an alliance with Qualipride International in order to gain access to 1,500 metric tons of annual supply of low-grade stevia extract for use as starting material. For perspective on this capacity in the context of the stevia industry, Purecircle is a stevia supplier that disclosed as of 2013 a 2,800 metric ton capacity for highly purified stevia extract that could support annual sales of $250 to $300 million.

Stevia First Launches SF Pure Subsidiary

Stevia First announced that it is accelerating plans for commercialization of its stevia products and for California production of stevia leaf and stevia extract. The company has formed a subsidiary branded as SF Pure to build North American stevia extraction and refining facilities. SF Pure has agreed in principle to obtain exclusive rights outside of China to use technology developed by a private Chinese company, Qualipride International and currently installed at multiple stevia extraction and purification facilities located within China. In addition, SF Pure further agreed in principle to substantially take over the stevia sales and distribution business of Qualipride, which sold more than 600 tons of stevia extract in the past 12 months, including 350 tons for export from China. Its current customers include many multinational ingredient companies and wholesalers in the U.S. and Europe. Qualipride has been in business for more than 15 years and through its factories and partnerships has access to more than 2,000 metrics tons of annual stevia production capacity.

Stevia First Corporation Presents at LD MICRO 4th Annual Micro-Cap Invitational, Jun-04-2014 02:00 PM

Stevia First Corporation Presents at LD MICRO 4th Annual Micro-Cap Invitational, Jun-04-2014 02:00 PM. Venue: Luxe Sunset Bel Air, 11461 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049, United States. Speakers: Robert T. Brooke, Chief Executive Officer, President, Principal Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Secretary , Treasurer and Director.

Stevia First Corp. Announces Plans for Agricultural Drones to Increase Stevia Leaf Yields

Stevia First Corp. is planning a field-scale study using agricultural drones to interrupt Stevia's photoperiod using brief overnight illumination which could produce dramatic gains in stevia leaf and steviol glycoside yields. Under laboratory conditions, interruption of Stevia's photoperiod has been described as delivering dramatic gains in leaf biomass and steviol glycoside content. The researchers report that brief overnight illumination of stevia with red LED light can simulate long-day growth and prevent flowering, which drives increases in leaf mass and steviol glycoside content. These results include a doubling of steviol glycosides within several weeks and extrapolate to a full year production increase offering more than a five-fold gain in steviol glycosides. Stevia First scientists aim to verify these exceptional results and work towards developing feasible technologies that facilitate field-scale deployment of photoperiod-interrupting technology. Stevia First Corp. is moving to enable a reliable global supply of stevia, and part of this work involves providing domestic growers with the tools they need to make stevia an economically-viable crop. If results with photoperiod interruption as seen by researchers in the laboratory, can be replicated and implemented at field-scale, it could introduce an economic shift in domestic stevia production resulting in far greater production efficiencies as opposed to traditional methods currently employed in the primary growing regions of China.


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