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PureCircle Launches Branded Gourmet Ice Cream In Chicago. Sweetened With Stevia. Zero Added Sugar.

PureCircle Ice Cream Product Lineup

‘PureCircle’ Ice Cream Demonstrates Great Taste
And Capabilities of Company’s Next Generation Stevia Leaf Sweeteners

PureCircle Partners With JDRF 
Which Supports Type 1 Diabetes Research.

CHICAGO, Aug. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PureCircle (LSE: PURE), the world’s leading producer and innovator of stevia sweeteners, is launching a great-tasting branded gourmet ice cream with zero added sugar and sweetened with its next generation stevia leaf sweeteners.  Based in Chicago, the company is debuting the new ‘PureCircle’ ice cream in its hometown at the end of August.  It will initially be distributed around the city via ‘PureCircle’ ice cream trucks.

PureCircle Vanilla Ice Cream Flavor

PureCircle’s next generation stevia sweeteners, like Reb M, are an important break-through.  They have a clean, sugar-like taste, contain no calories and are plant-based.  They work extremely well in dessert products like ice cream and in a wide range of beverage and food products.  That means beverage and food companies – seeking to reduce sugar and calories — can offer consumers zero- and low-calorie products, sweetened with our plant-based stevia sweeteners.

Several health organizations suggest consumers reduce added sugar in their diets.  For example, the U.S. Government, in its Dietary Guidelines, urges “an eating pattern low in added sugar.”  With no added sugar, PureCircle ice cream helps consumers adhere to that eating pattern.  It also helps with calorie reduction.  PureCircle’s vanilla ice cream, for example, contains less than half the calories of one of the leading full-calorie branded vanilla ice creams, while having the creamy taste characteristic of gourmet ice creams. And as it sweetened with stevia, our ice cream contains no artificial sweeteners.

PureCircle’s new ice cream will be available initially in four flavors: vanilla, chocolate, coffee and salted caramel.  There will also be a vegan fruit-flavored dessert.  The new PureCircle ice cream offerings will be available in 5.3-oz mini-cups and pints at launch.

Initially, the PureCircle Ice Cream will be sold via food trucks circulating in and around Chicago.  In addition, the company plans to offer ice cream products for sale to restaurants, ice cream parlors, hotels and other foodservice outlets; plus the company will offer to sell stevia-based ingredient blends to producers of ice cream sold at retail and in foodservice.

The launch of the new ice cream – with the company’s name on the labels — demonstrates PureCircle’s confidence in the great taste of its next generation stevia sweeteners.  The capabilities of these sweeteners and the company’s unique expertise in formulating with them are what make possible the new delicious ‘PureCircle’ ice cream.

Commenting on the launch of PureCircle Ice Cream, PureCircle CEO Maga Malsagov said:

“We have worked hard to develop and commercialize our next generation stevia leaf sweeteners.  To demonstrate our confidence in their great taste, we are putting our name on this delicious ice cream.  We hope consumers – and our customers – will drop by PureCircle Ice Cream trucks to savor what our next generation stevia can do in food and beverage products.”

PureCircle has overcome the past challenges facing stevia leaf sweeteners: taste, supply and cost.  The company’s next generation non-GMO stevia sweeteners have a clean, sugar-like taste and work well across multiple consumer product categories. And PureCircle has ramped up its ability to supply the next generation sweeteners, like Reb M, in the large quantities that food and beverage companies require – and cost effectively to them.

The importance of stevia sweeteners to the beverage and food industries is growing, evidenced by its increased use.  Last year, the number of new products launched using stevia globally grew +31%, according to Mintel. That was roughly three times the growth rate in 2017.  Over the last decade, stevia has been used in more than 20,000 beverage and food launches.  Many large and small food and beverage companies globally utilize PureCircle stevia in their low- and zero-calorie products due to its great taste.

In connection with the launch of the new ice cream, PureCircle has partnered with the Illinois chapter of JDRF, which funds research, advocates for government action and provides support to fight type 1 diabetes.  Recognizing the healthy attributes of PureCircle’s zero-added sugar ice cream, JDRF will help PureCircle educate its members about this new product and will provide PureCircle opportunities to sample and sell the ice cream at certain JDRF events.  For example, JDRF is inviting the PureCircle ice cream trucks to provide product, coupons and promotional items at its One Walk Events in late September and early October. PureCircle will also be the “official dessert sponsor” at JDRF’s One Dream Gala in Chicago at the end of the year. PureCircle has pledged to help support JDRF’s work.

For information on the new PureCircle Ice Cream on the internet, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, please use the following links:

Internet: https://www.purecircleicecream.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PureCircleIceCream

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/purecircleicecream/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/pcicecream

Media may direct inquiries to:

Jackson Pillow, Media Relations Manager
Email: jackson.pillow@purecircle.com  Phone: +1 (630) 256 8394

About PureCircle

  • PureCircle is the only company that combines advanced R&D with full vertical integration from farm to high-quality, great-tasting innovative stevia sweeteners.
  • The Company collaborates with farmers who grow the stevia plants and with food and beverage companies which seek to improve their low- and no-calorie formulations using a sweetener from plants.
  • PureCircle will continue to: lead in research, development and innovation; produce a growing supply of multiple varieties of stevia sweeteners with sugar-like taste, using all necessary and appropriate methods of production; and be a resource and innovation partner for food and beverage companies.
  • PureCircle stevia flavor modifiers work in synergy with sweeteners to improve the taste, mouthfeel and calorie profile, and enhance the cost effectiveness, of beverage and food products.
  • Founded in 2002, PureCircle is continually investing in breakthrough research and development and it has been granted over 130 stevia-related patents with more than 250 applied for patents pending.
  • PureCircle has offices around the world with the global headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
  • To meet growing demand for stevia sweeteners, PureCircle is rapidly ramping up its supply capability. It completed expansion of its Malaysian stevia extract facility in March 2017, increasing its capacity to rapidly supply the newer and great-tasting specialty stevia sweeteners and helping provide ever-increasing value to its customers.
  • PureCircle’s shares are listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • For more information, visit: www.purecircle.com

About stevia

  • Given the growing global concerns about obesity and diabetes, beverage and food companies are working responsibly to reduce sugar and calories in their products, responding to both consumers and health and wellness advocates. Sweeteners from the stevia plant offer sugar-like taste and are becoming an increasingly important tool for these companies.
  • Like sugar, stevia sweeteners are from plants. But unlike sugar, they enable low-calorie and zero-calorie formulations of beverages and foods.
  • Stevia leaf extract is a natural-based, zero calorie, high-intensity sweetener, used by global food and beverage companies as a great-tasting zero-calorie alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • Stevia is a naturally sweet plant native to South America; today, it is grown around the world, notably in Kenya, China and the US.
  • The sweet-tasting parts of the stevia leaf are up to 350 times sweeter than sugar: stevia’s high-intensity sweetness means it requires far less water and land than sugar.
  • Research has shown that the molecules of the stevia leaf are present and unchanged in the dried stevia leaf, through the commercial extraction and purification process, and in the final stevia leaf extract product. All major global regulatory organisations, across 65 countries, have approved the use of high-purity stevia leaf extracts in food and beverages.
  • For more information on the science of stevia, please visit https://www.purecirclesteviainstitute.com/

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:



Tascent Delivers Top Performance in DHS Test of Cooperative Face Recognition

Company’s new InSight Face product scores highest accuracy, efficiency, and customer satisfaction

Tascent InSight Face

Tascent InSight Face receives top marks in US Department of Homeland Security 2019 Biometric Technology Rally

LOS GATOS, Calif., Aug. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tascent, Inc., the leader in intuitive biometrics, today announced that it has received top performance marks in all categories in the US Department of Homeland Security’s 2019 Biometric Technology Rally. Benchmarked against a total of 14 leading products, Tascent’s InSight Face cooperative face recognition solution delivered the highest accuracy, highest efficiency, and highest customer satisfaction of all competitors, and was the only solution to meet all of DHS’s goals for the evaluation.

In its second year, the DHS Biometric Technology Rally sought to compare the performance of various capture devices, algorithms, and modalities in a realistic use case that mimics airline boarding or comparable high throughput travel facilitation environments. For each device under test, users representing a broad demographic distribution were instructed to walk through an 8-foot long capture zone, follow any instructions provided, and provide feedback on the user experience. The resulting facial biometric images were then compared against an enrolled gallery and assessed for matching performance.

The DHS official test results, which refer to Tascent by team code name “Teton,” show that Tascent InSight Face delivered a 0.0% Failure to Acquire Rate, a 99.5% True Identification Rate, a 98.1% Satisfaction Rating, and an average throughput (“Efficiency”) of 2.7 seconds, including the transit through the 8-foot zone. These results were unmatched in any category by the other test participants. Official results can be found at https://mdtf.org/Rally2019/Results2019.

“We’re thrilled to have the results from the 2019 Biometric Technology Rally validate our perspective that a biometric system can deliver on convenience, accuracy, user experience, and inclusion without compromise,” said Dan Potter, VP of Research and Development at Tascent. “With biometric authentication increasingly recognized as a critical technology enabler, this holistic approach to biometric performance will be crucial both for businesses and government organizations.”

InSight Face, Tascent’s fifth-generation high throughput biometric system, will be released in late 2019. It combines the award-winning industrial design of Tascent InSight One with a seamless “on-the-move” face recognition capture capability that works with individuals or small groups. As opposed to a surveillance or CCTV-based face recognition solution, InSight Face is a cooperative system that actively engages users to deliver an intuitive and welcoming experience.

“Biometrics is already transforming air travel on a global scale, delivering new levels of efficiency, personalization, and convenience to airlines, airports, and travelers,” said Alastair Partington, Founder and Co-CEO of Tascent.  “The level of performance and usability we’re now seeing positions biometric authentication to disrupt not just air travel, but every industry that values positive customer engagement and streamlined customer experiences.  We’re excited for this new generation of cooperative biometric solutions to give individuals more options in how they choose to interact with organizations – securely, conveniently, and with confidence.”

About Tascent

Tascent harnesses the power of biometrics to enable frictionless experiences in a connected world. We focus on creating intuitive hardware, software, and services, providing comprehensive capabilities for tailored identity solutions. Through partnerships, we deliver the strength of trusted identity to positively impact travel, financial services, ticketing and events, workplace access, government services, and humanitarian efforts.

While many biometric companies offer products that are complex and unintuitive, Tascent makes it easy for our partners to integrate and deploy approachable yet robust multimodal biometric identity systems. Today, our biometric devices and solutions serve tens of millions of people each year in some of the most challenging environments. We strive to innovate and create products that address unmet needs for critical-yet-routine identity processes, making lives simpler and easier.

Based in Silicon Valley, CA, Tascent supports customers and partners globally through our offices in Washington DC, Dubai, London, and Singapore.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/72d1ca66-9694-445b-8178-316a70bf9283

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress


92% Efficient RGBW LED Driver with Programmable Self-Running Patterns

Integrated 1x and 1.5x Charge Pump with Ultra Low IQ for energy conscious IoT applications

The IS31FL3195, a new 4-channel LED Driver

The New IS31FL3195 is a 92% Efficient RGBW LED Driver with Programmable Self-Running Patterns. It Integrates 1x and 1.5x Charge Pump with Ultra Low IQ for energy conscious IoT applications

MILPITAS, Calif., Aug. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AMS, Analog Mixed-Signal division of ISSI, announces the IS31FL3195, a new 4-channel LED driver designed for low-power applications.  The IS31FL3195 integrates a high-efficiency charge pump and a programmable self-running pattern generator for automated RGBW lighting effects even when the local microcontroller is powered off. With the introduction of this new device, AMS expands its LED driver presence in the energy saving markets for Internet-of-Things (IOT), wearable and battery operated devices.

Compared with other LED drivers, the new IS31FL3195 is ideal for power-conscious applications where low operating current, high efficiency and a small footprint are critical. LEDs consume a considerable amount of power therefore, handheld devices benefit from LED drivers designed with power saving features. The IS31FL3195 operates with an extremely low 640µA quiescent current and a 1µA shutdown current. The individual LED current can be configured for up to 20mA with 8-bit dot correction and a low LED drop-out with current matching to maintain consistent LED brightness.

“Extending battery life is a challenge for every battery operated portable equipment manufacturer, even more so for the always connected IoT devices that use LEDs for status indication and visual notification. The IS31FL3195 with its highly efficient power savings configuration and its compact form factor is an ideal solution for driving RGBW LEDS in IoT appliances,” said Ven Shan, VP of AMS products at ISSI.  Once programmed by the local microcontroller, the IS31FL3195 will continue its lighting sequences even when the microcontroller shuts down or the battery voltage drops below the LED forward voltage. The 1MHz charge pump in the IS31FL3195 is automatically enabled when the battery voltage is not sufficient to power the LEDs.  For additional power savings, the driver will disable unused blocks when the LEDs are not active and when the automated sequence is running; significantly decreasing the average power consumption.

Key features and benefits of the IS31FL3195

  • Built-in 1MHz charge pump with 1× and 1.5× gain providing up to 92% LED drive efficiency
  • 1µA shutdown current; 640µA quiescent operating current
  • Support four LEDs – RGBW
    • Each LED current is configurable up to 20mA with 8-bit dot correction
    • Each LED has its own fade registers with independent start/stop
  •  Automatic operation with pre-established lighting patterns
  • Very small footprint WLCSP-16 (1.88mm×2.08mm) and QFN-16 (4mm×4mm) packages

Price and Availability
The IS31FL3195 is available and priced at $0.31 in quantities of 10,000.

For more information on AMS LED products, visit the AMS Analog products website at ams.issi.com/US/product-analog-fxled-driver.shtml

About AMS
AMS is the analog mixed signal division of ISSI, a fabless semiconductor company that designs and markets high performance integrated circuits for the following key markets: (I) automotive, (ii) communications, (iii) industrial/medical, and (iv) digital consumer. AMS’ primary products are LED drivers for low to mid-power RGB color mixing and high power lighting applications. Other products include audio, sensor and micro controller MCU semiconductor ICs. ISSI/AMS is headquartered in Silicon Valley with worldwide offices in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, China, Europe, Hong Kong, India, and Korea. Visit our web site at http://ams.issi.com/.

Integrated Silicon Solution, Inc.
Ven Shan
408.969.4622 vshan@issi.com
Aaron Reynoso
408.969.5141 areynoso@issi.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/aec71b03-6539-4559-a828-216b2a56eda3

Euronet Worldwide’s Digital Integrated Payments Cloud powers Sri Lanka’s first QR code-based payment app

LEAWOOD, Kan., Aug. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ: EEFT) and its Digital Integrated Payments Cloud (DIPC) technology has empowered the Commercial Bank of Ceylon to launch the first Quick Response (QR)-based payment app under LANKAQR, the national QR standard for local currency payments introduced by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The app, ComBank Q+, uses the DIPC’s microservices architecture and open APIs to power its QR code engine. In addition, Euronet’s DIPC provides the scalability and flexibility required by a project of this size to deliver payments technology as a service (PTaaS).

The end-to-end scope of the system included development of a QR code customer app, a merchant app with a QR code central processing engine, reconciliation and settlement services for all transactions, and the associated IT infrastructure on a pay-per-use model.

Bank customers download and install the ComBank Q+ app and can add up to five ComBank Mastercard, Visa, or LankaPay cards through an authentication process via SMS. They then perform MasterCard QR, mVisa, or LankaQR transactions by scanning a vendor’s QR code and selecting which card to use to pay.

The app ensures a friction free, secure and faster payment experience for customers and merchants and supports both static and dynamic QR codes. ComBank Q+ complies to EMVCo specifications facilitating interoperability and the QR-code payment functionality overseas as well.

Commenting on the technology outsourcing partnership, Pranay Jhaveri, Euronet Chief Business Officer, India and South Asia said, “We are delighted to partner with the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, a key financial services provider in the Sri Lankan market, focused on innovations and delighting its customers by delivering the next generation payments experience. Alternative payments adoption is growing at a very rapid pace in Asia, including Sri Lanka, and Euronet has been at the forefront with its DIPC delivering secure faster payments technology to leading banks and innovative customers in the region. ComBank Q+ will transform the scan-and-pay experience of the customer and also the merchants receiving payments.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Mr. Hasrath Munasinghe – Deputy General Manager Marketing, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, said, “Providing an innovative and secure transaction experience has always been a key driver for the bank. We understand that the world is moving to alternative payments that offer value and convenience. The advantages from this app to our consumers are immense and the option of rapid customization is a significant differentiator that we intend to leverage to enhance our customer experience.”

About Euronet Worldwide, Inc.

Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in processing secure electronic financial transactions. The Company offers payment and transaction processing solutions to financial institutions, retailers, service providers and individual consumers. These services include comprehensive ATM, POS and card outsourcing services, card issuing and merchant acquiring services, software solutions, cash-based and online-initiated consumer-to-consumer and business-to-business money transfer services, and electronic distribution of digital media and prepaid mobile phone time. Euronet’s global payment network is extensive – including 46,636 ATMs, approximately 307,000 EFT POS terminals and a growing portfolio of outsourced debit and credit card services which are under management in 54 countries; card software solutions; a prepaid processing network of approximately 700,000 POS terminals at approximately 325,000 retailer locations in 51 countries; and a global money transfer network of approximately 385,000 locations serving 160 countries. With corporate headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and 65 worldwide offices, Euronet serves clients in approximately 170 countries. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.euronetworldwide.com.

About The Commercial Bank Ceylon

The only Sri Lankan Bank to be ranked among the world’s top 1000 banks for nine years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 266 branches and 847 ATMs in Sri Lanka. The Bank has won more than 40 international and local awards in 2018.

Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay PyiTaw; the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

Commercial Bank cards are the fastest growing cards in Sri Lanka and enjoy market leadership in Credit and Debit Card cumulative point-of-sale usage. The Bank offers a variety of Credit Cards in the Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers of Visa and Mastercard as well as Visa Signature, World Mastercard and Visa Infinite cards in the premium segment. The cards are equipped with ‘Tap n Go’ NFC technology and are backed by a strong NFC Point-of-Sale (POS) network.

Stephanie Taylor
Euronet Worldwide, Inc.

Willowglen MSC bags RM6.34 mln contract

KUALA LUMPUR, Willowglen MSC Bhd has clinched a RM6.34 million contract from INCSYS Pte Ltd of Singapore for the supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of an integrated security and surveillance system.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the computer-based control systems provider said the contract, which began on Aug 19, would be completed by Jan 12, 2022.

The contract is expected to contribute positively to the group’s earnings and net assets per share for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2019 to 2021, it said.

Willowglen said the contract was not renewable and the risks in respect of the contract were normal business risks.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Genting Malaysia’s unit inks merger agreement with Empire Resorts

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Hercules Topco LLC, which is 49 per cent owned by Genting Malaysia Bhd (GenM) via subsidiary Genting (USA) Ltd (GenUSA), has inked a merger agreement with Empire Resorts Inc, which entails buying out Empire’s minority shareholders at US$9.74 per share.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, GenM said the qualified shareholders did not include those who had elected to dissent from the proposed merger and were seeking appraisal rights as well as shareholders of cancelled shares.

Hercules Topco is expected to hold all outstanding shares of Empire after the US-based casino operator is delisted from US’ Nasdaq Global Select Market after the completion of the proposed merger.

On Sunday, when the merger agreement was signed, GenUSA and Kien Huat Realty III Ltd (KH) received 49 per cent and 51 per cent membership interest in Hercules Topco, respectively.

“Under the terms of the merger agreement, Hercules Topco and Empire will take efforts to delist Empire common stock from the Nasdaq Global Select Market and deregister Empire’s common stock under the United States Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, following the successful completion of the proposed merger,” GenM said.

As part of the proposed merger and in accordance with the merger agreement, qualified shareholders of Empire common stock will be entitled to receive US$9.74 in cash from Hercules Topco for each share held in Empire.

GenM said that based on the merger agreement and the membership interest in Hercules Topco, GenUSA’s and KH’s portions of the merger consideration to be injected into Hercules Topco were about US$28.5 million (RM119.0 million) and US$29.7 million (RM124.1 million), respectively.

Sunday’s signing followed GenUSA’s signing of a binding term sheet on Aug 5 to acquire 46 per cent of the Empire common stock held by KH for US$9.74 per share or about US$128.6 million (RM538.8 million).

KH is currently the largest shareholder of Empire, which owns and operates Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County, New York. On conversion of its preferred stock, it will effectively own 86 per cent of the common stock outstanding.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

Press Metal posts lower net profit in Q2

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd posted a lower net profit of RM102.89 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 (Q2) against RM160.6 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenue slipped to RM2.13 billion from RM2.44 billion previously, mainly due to the lower aluminium price in Q2, the company said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia today.

In a separate statement, group chief executive officer Tan Sri Paul Koon said margins were also impacted due to high alumina prices which has now reversed after the Brazilian refinery secured all necessary approvals to resume full production on May 21, 2019.

“For the last few quarters, we were operating in a challenging macro environment, exacerbated by ongoing trade tensions. However, our low-cost model ensured we remained profitable.

With alumina prices dropping to approximately US$300 (US$1=RM4.18) per tonne in August 2019 from the year high of US$417 per tonne, we expect margins to improve in the later part of 2019, he said.

Koon said aluminium being the emerging metal of choice with its green characteristics has the potential to further replace traditional materials.

The long-term prospects are promising as the company foresees wider applications across multiple industries.

“We also expect our investment in PT Bintan Alumina Indonesia to further boost our earnings once the refinery is completed by end-2020,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)