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Press Release

Technology and Innovation Spur Launch of HB Natural Ingredients


New company appoints industry renowned leadership team to drive growth


IRVINE, Calif., July 10, 2018/PRNewswire/ -- HB Natural Ingredients has assembled an industry renowned management team and board of directors to propel rapid growth based on R&D technology, an integrated sustainable supply chain and new product innovation.


HB Natural Ingredients is an innovative B2B manufacturer of specialty plant-based ingredients that deliver unique functionality in consumer products. The technology-driven portfolio includes a comprehensive range of stevia extracts, such as Rebaudioside D, and licorice root extracts, such as MAG (Mono Ammonium Glycyrrhizinate). The company was formed as a spinoff from the BGG Group.

HB Natural Ingredients operates globally, advancing the development of great consumer products across the food, beverage, nutritional supplements and pharmaceutical markets. The company has near-term launch plans for next generation, modified stevia extracts. These products will deliver better sweetness (more rounded/less bitter taste) and enhanced flavor-modifying properties.


The Board of Directors and Management team appointments include:


  • Chairman and President Chunhua Li is the founder of the BGG Group, which has operated globally for nearly twenty-five years, providing natural, functional ingredients used in a wide range of consumer products. He is also the Co-Chairman of the BGG-Solix Combination.
  • Co-Chairman and Chief of Science & Technology Dr. Varuzhan Abelyan is expert in industrial enzymology and biotransformations, particularly in the areas of natural sweeteners, functional oligosaccharides and other physiologically active ingredients. He is one of the founders of PureCircle, where he served as science and technology leader and commercialized various stevia-based sweeteners using innovative technologies.
  • Board Member and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Zannoni established the international sales and marketing platform for SPLENDA® Sucralose in South America, Australia and the Middle East. In addition to his business development roles at Johnson & Johnson, he most recently held executive operating positions at Zhucheng Haotian, BioPlus Organics and Naturz Organics.
  • Board Member and General Manager Justin Lyu is skilled in natural sweetener ingredients and plant resource management, including sustainable agriculture, wild sourcing and cultivation. Previously, he was Product Manager, Licorice and Stevia for the BGG Group, where he developed ingredients for the food and flavor industries.
  • Independent Board Member Austin Maguire provides wide-ranging global business leadership skills, including specialty ingredients and sweeteners. He is the Co-Chairman of the BGG-Solix Combination. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Solix Algredients, President of Calera Corporation and President of Tate & Lyle Sucralose, where he led the global SPLENDA® Sucralose sweetener business.
  • Independent Board Member Juergen Nelis is a procurement and supply chain leader. He is the Vice President Group Procurement for SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. Previously, he was Chief Procurement Officer of Givaudan, the world’s leading flavor and fragrance company, and Vice President Procurement of Roche Pharmaceuticals.
  • Vice President Global Sales and Marketing Mauricio Bacigaluppo has an extensive record of enabling customer growth in the specialty sweeteners business. He most recently held executive positions of increasing responsibility with PureCircle. Previously, he held senior sales and business development positions with Tate & Lyle and Johnson & Johnson.
  • Vice President Applications Technology and Regulatory Affairs Dr. CN Liao is a food scientist with expertise in nutritional supplement technologies, specialty sweetener applications and new product development. He most recently held R&D and technical positions with Heartland Food Products Group and sweetener divisions of Johnson & Johnson.


About HB Natural Ingredients

HB Natural Ingredients is an innovative B2B manufacturer of specialty plant-based ingredients that deliver unique functionality in consumer products. The company’s technology-driven ingredients are sold into the global food, beverage, nutritional supplements, personal care, pharmaceutical and pet food markets. HB Natural Ingredients controls all phases of a sustainable supply chain from farming through processing, in an environmentally responsible manner. This produces consistent quality, excellent value and confident material traceability. HB Natural Ingredients USA is headquartered in Irvine, CA. For more information, visit


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