Lifestyle diseases are preventable.

Poor nutritional choices and overconsumption of sugar are associated with a growing number of serious health problems – obesity and Type 2 diabetes among them. A staggering 463 million people are living with diabetes (IDF, 2019), a figure that is predicted to grow to 700 million by 2045. In the US alone, one out of every three Americans is diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes and has a higher risk of heart disease and cancer as co-morbidities.

Low and no-calorie sweetened products are a rapidly growing segment of the food and beverage industry as consumers look for healthier alternatives to sugar. But they are increasingly rejecting artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose that currently dominate the market.

Estimated number of adults with diabetes (in millions)

From IDF Diabetes Atlas editions 1st to 9th

Naturally sweet, without the calories

The food and beverage industry has been looking at natural low-calorie, high-intensity sweeteners as more appealing sugar substitutes. Those efforts have led to the development of plant-based products like stevia – the most popular natural non-caloric sweetener currently on the market. But stevia does not come without its compromises. The product’s bitterness, after-taste and sweet linger can be off-putting to many consumers. The holy grail of sweeteners is a natural, high intensity sweetener that tastes just like cane sugar, with zero calories and without the aftertaste.

Monk fruit, a member of the melon family, produces the most desired natural sweetener to fit consumer preferences. But there are problems with cost and supply. Monk fruit grows exclusively in Southeast Asia, it is an expensive ingredient and its supply source in China creates challenges to global availability. As a result, adoption of monk fruit sweetener in mainstream foods and beverages has been slow despite the product’s obvious benefits.

New ideas for a global supply chain

At Elo Life Systems, we are addressing this supply chain problem by creating a novel, scalable source of monk fruit sweetener. Elo’s ZeroMelon® harnesses and activates a latent genomic pathway naturally present in watermelon to produce a natural zero-calorie product that is 300 times sweeter than cane sugar. This makes ZeroMelon® a desirable alternative to other natural and artificial sweeteners.

Since ZeroMelon® is derived from the widely cultivated watermelon –it can be produced at scale in a more accessible and sustainable way. This product will be grown in broader geographies, unencumbered by global supply problems.

Elo: For a better tomorrow

With the philosophy of Responsible Agriculture at its core, our team of creative minds help improve human health and wellness through food. We leverage our broad experience in computational biology and a robust genome-editing platform, to develop nutritious, resilient and sustainable food production systems. Our know-how drives technology to effectively and responsibly harvest what biology has to offer, for the benefit of mankind and for a better tomorrow.