New Manufacturing and Advanced R&D Facility Opens in Charlottesville, VA, Making Plant-Based, Prebiotic Sugar Alternative Accessible for All

A new manufacturing facility has officially opened its doors in Charlottesville, VA, dedicated to the production of tagatose, a sweet plant-based material with numerous health benefits. The facility, owned and operated by Bonumose, will produce high-quality tagatose for use in a wide range of food and beverage products.

Tagatose is 90% as sweet as table sugar, but with 62% fewer calories than regular sugar, with no bitter aftertaste. It is also ultra-low on the glycemic index, making it a suitable sweetener for people with diabetes or anyone watching their health. Tagatose also has prebiotic properties, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Tagatose has been certified as non-GMO, ketogenic, and kosher, making it a welcome ingredient in many diets.

Using enzymes and a plant-based starch, alongside a proprietary process, Bonumose is able to reduce the cost of this sugar alternative, making it affordable for the global mass market.

The new 50,000-square-foot facility, located at 1500 State Farm Blvd, uses standard equipment coupled with a patented enzymatic conversion process to ensure the highest quality and consistency of tagatose production. An equity investment co-led by sweetener company ASR Group and The Hershey Company supported the facility, as did a loan from X-Caliber Rural Capital. So far, Bonumose has brought more than 30 jobs to the Charlottesville community.

“I am excited to celebrate the opening of Bonumose’s state-of-the-art production and research facility in Albemarle County,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This pioneer in the rare sugar industry will utilize its expanded new space to produce an innovative product that is changing the way we consume sugar, providing a healthier alternative without sacrificing taste. Bonumose is a tremendous Virginia success story, and we look forward to a continued partnership with the company in its next chapter of growth.”

“Opening this new facility is an important milestone on the road to bringing the benefits of tagatose to the public,” said Ed Rogers, CEO of Bonumose. “More so than any other alternative to sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, we believe tagatose can enable better-for-you foods that are on parity for palatability and price with consumer favorites.”

Bonumose plans to expand production in the near future. In addition to tagatose, the Virginia facility can produce other ingredients that are in Bonumose’s development pipeline. Major food and beverage brands are evaluating tagatose for their products to respond to consumer demand for reducing sugars without sacrificing taste or texture.

“We are working to encourage broad-market adoption of this pure granulated tagatose as a beneficial sugar alternative,” added Rogers. “Tagatose has everything you love about sugar with better health benefits.”

For more information about tagatose and the new manufacturing facility, please visit

Recent News


Mason leads planning study to position Northern Virginia as a premier location for the life science industry

During the past several years, industry demand for a skilled life science workforce has been surging. In Virginia, while there are currently shortages in almost all health-related professions, little is known about whether there is an adequate supply of life science workers to meet the needs of employers. Now George Mason University is working toward


California invests $50M to partner with Civica Rx on insulin manufacturing

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a new contract with nonprofit drugmaker Civica Rx, a move that brings the state one step closer to creating its own line of insulin to bring down the cost of the drug. Once the medicines are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Newsom said at a press conference


RAMP Welcomes 5 Startups into Spring 2023 Cohort

From designing battery electric spotter tractors to developing individualized neuro-oncology treatments for aggressive gliomas, the five companies accepted into RAMP’s Spring 2023 Cohort span the gamut of technology, health science and life science innovation. “We are thrilled to welcome these inspiring entrepreneurs and help them accelerate their vision,” said RAMP director Lisa Garcia. “Not only