3i takes of bite of Chinese sweetener

3i, a global private equity firm, has taken a minority stake in Futaste Pharmaceutical, a Chinese natural sweetener manufacturer, for an undisclosed sum.

Futaste Pharmaceutical, formerly known as Futian Pharmaceutical, manufacturers the natural sweetener Xvlitol, an alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Founded in 1993 in Yucheng, Shandong province, Futaste provides Xylitol for use in chewing gum, chocolate, sweets, ice cream, preserves, beverages and toothpaste.

3i opened an office in Shanghai in spring 2005. It also has offices in Beijing and Hong Kong, as well as Singapore and Mumbai.