Our Supply Chain
Leaf Processing and Purification
Our extraction and refining operations consist of two components: primary processing of stevia leaf into intermediate stevia extract; and purification into final high-grade stevia extract products. All of our extraction and refining operations are located in China and we have four wholly owned subsidiaries in China that undertake the primary processing and purification operations.
We have current production capacity of 1,000 metric tons of high-grade stevia (RA 80) or 500 MT of rebiana (RA 97) at our Qingdao facility (Runde) and we have current production capacity of 2,000 MT of high-grade stevia (RA 80) or 1,000 MT of rebiana (RA 97) at our other Qingdao facility (Runhao). We own or have access to certain proprietary technology for producing high-grade stevia extract.
Purification of intermediate stevia extract to final product generally follows two steps:
- the primary extract is dissolved in a water-ethanol solvent mixture and further processed by filtration, crystallization, and centrifugation steps; and
- the resulting preparation of crystals is rinsed with food grade ethanol and vacuum-dried to yield the final high-grade Rebaudioside A product.
In May 2009 we entered into a long term investment agreement with the Qingdao Export Refine Management Committee. Pursuant to this investment agreement, a total area of 215 acres of land will be made available to our subsidiary Runhao. The first phase of the development occupies 60 acres of land where a secondary processing facility with capacity of 2,000 metric tons of high-grade stevia (RA 80) or 1,000 metric tons of rebiana (RA 97) or 2,000 metric tons of BlendSureTM was constructed and started operations in December 2009.
In May 2009, the company entered into a long term investment agreement with the Qingdao Export Refine Management Committee for land and construction of a state-of-the-art secondary stevia processing plant. In December 2009, phase one of Runhao was completed and went into full operation 2Q 2011. The facility has the current capability of producing up to 2,000 metric tons of high-grade RebPure RA80 or an equivalent 1,000 metric tons of RebPure RA97. The Runhao secondary processing facility takes the lower grade intermediate stevia extracts produced at our primary extraction facilities and refines them to high-purity.
This incorporates our two-step patented extraction process:
December 2006, GLG acquired Qingdao Runde Biotechnology Company Limited ("Runde"), a leading manufacturer of high-grade stevia. Runde possesses the technology to extract and refine to levels of RA97+.