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Local Research Company Working on New Sugar Substitute

Ironstone Separations is a small research company in Oxford, Miss., that is currently working on a process for a new sugar alternative that sacrifices calories, but not taste.

Researchers at Ironstone Separations in Oxford, Miss. are hard at work on a new sugar substitute with zero calories.
Researchers at Ironstone Separations in Oxford, Miss. are hard at work on a new sugar substitute with zero calories.

Ironstone Separations research deals primarily with natural products. The research to identify this new sugar substitute is focused on a plant called stevia. The stevia plant actually provides a sweeter taste than that of regular sugar. Ironstone Separations is currently working to isolate all of the components of the plant in order to find a component that is more desirable to consumers.
One of the main upsides to this new substitute, other than taste, is that it contains no calories.
“The beauty is that it is so called non caloric,” Dr. James D. McChesney, owner and founder of Ironstone Separations, said. “These compounds we are isolating from the stevia plant do not provide energy to the body, they simply provide a sweet taste.”
Because this new substitute provides the same taste as sugar with none of the calories, consumers can still eat and drink the same sweet foods without cutting them from their diet. This is beneficial for people who are suffering from obesity and even diabetes.
Ironstone’s lead stevia researcher, Kamilla Alves, says that her dad suffers from diabetes and that this new substitute will help him not to sacrifice the foods he loves.
“My dad had to cut everything sweet out of his diet when he found out he was diabetic.” Alves said. “He doesn’t like any of the artificial sweeteners out there currently. Hopefully this new alternative we are working to discover can be something that can benefit him and others.”
Ironstone Separations is a small research company located in Oxford, Miss.
Ironstone Separations is a small research company located in Oxford, Miss.

Currently there are other sweeting alternatives on the market such as Sweet’N Low, Splenda, and Truvia. The problem with most of these sweeteners that are on the market today is that they do not provide the same sweet taste as sugar. Even though Truvia is a sweetener derived from the stevia plant, some consumers complain that it has a bad after taste. The purpose behind Ironstone’s research is to make the product more desirable and healthier for its consumers.
Ironstone is also working on new drug development for cancer chemotherapy. Ironstone is currently working with a second company called Arbor Therapeutics, which specializes in working with cancer research. Ironstone and Arbor are looking for a way to minimize the negative side effect of severe toxicity for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Ironstone is focusing mainly on the chemistry component of its cancer research, as well as its natural products research with the stevia plant.
There are major consumer product companies that are currently looking into Ironstone’s research. Dr. McChesney was not at liberty to divulge who they were, but said they are names everyone would recognize. Although there is more research still to be conducted, consumers can expect to see this new sugar substitute on shelves within the next few of years.
– Story, video and photos by Ian Cowart, a student in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media

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