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Celanese Corporation’s (CE - Analyst Report) sweetener and preservative business Nutrinova unveiled a new Sunsation platform that will help food and beverage manufacturers to develop products that have zero calories.

Sunsation Sunett SL, the first product in the Sunsation basket, is a sweetener system for zero or low calorie food and beverage products. This product can be used in a broad range of foods and beverages including carbonated and energy drinks, cocktail mixers and powdered drink mixes, yogurt and other dairy products. It can also be used in juices, lemonade and punches.

Nutrinova introduced the Sunsation platform to develop the drop-in sweetener solutions that address consumer trends and needs. The products used by the company in the platform have been approved for use in food and beverage applications in most places.  International sensory analysis company ISI also confirmed that Sunsation Sunett SL considerably adds sweetness to sugar-reduced and sugar-free products.

Nutrinova is a division of Celanese and is part of its Consumer Specialties division. In April 2012, Celanese released its first-quarter 2012 financial results. The Consumer Specialties division posted sales of $264 million in the quarter.

During the quarter, Celanese reported adjusted earnings (excluding one-time charges and gains) of 72 cents per share, down from 96 cents a year ago. The profit was below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 77 cents per share. However, profit, as reported, jumped 28.9% year over year to $183 million (or $1.15 per share).

Sales for the quarter went up 3% to $1,633 million, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,616 million. The growth was driven by higher volumes and pricing in the company’s acetyl intermediates and industrial specialties divisions. However, higher costs and weak demand in Europe led to a decline in operating profit by 91.8% to $98 million during the quarter.

Celanese, which competes with BASF SE (BASFY) and Methanex Corporation (MEOH - Analyst Report), currently retains a Zacks #4 Rank, reflecting a short-term (1 to 3 months) Sell rating.

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