Coca-Cola partners with sweetener researchers

Coca-Cola Co. is collaborating with Chromocell Corp. on research aimed at discovering and developing sweetness enhancers, natural sweeteners and other flavor ingredients for zero- and reduced-calorie drinks.

Under the terms of the agreement, Coca-Cola will have exclusive rights to use the flavors, sweeteners and sweetness enhancers in all non-alcoholic "ready to drink" beverages. Chromocell, based in North Brunswick, N.J., will get research funding and royalty payments based on sales of products that contain technologies discovered during the collaboration.

"This collaboration with Chromocell will help us build a robust pipeline of innovation across categories and sweetness options," said Bilal Kaafarani, senior vice president of global research and innovation at Coca-Cola.

Christian Kopfli, chief executive of Chromocell, said the company's technology allows it to test extracts and ingredients from fruits, herbs and vegetables for ingredients with desired taste qualities.