Stevia - Applications and benefits

Introduction to Stevia

Stevia, or Stevia Rebaudiana, is a wild plant that develops mainly in Paraguay and Brazil.

Glycosides in leaves are responsible for a incredible taste of sweetness when consumed.

How much sweet is Stevia?

Stevia leaves are 10 - 15 more sweet from sugar. Proccessed Stevia, which contains 85 - 95% glycosides is 200 - 300 times sweeter than sugar.

Is it safe?

Historically there are evidence that it has been used to make a local drink in times before the arrival of Columbus at South America areas.

In scientific field, Antonio Bertoni first recorded Stevia usage on local tribes in 1887.

What are Stevia usages?

  • Basic usa of Stevia is sugar substitute.
  • It is used as a complement to diet drinks and food like snack, diet coke, etc.
  • It is used in food like fish bites, pickles, ready made frozen meals with vegetables and fish.

Can be used in diet?

Stevia's basic usage is included in premade food and drinks of low fat. The calories contained in Stevia is almost zero!

The use of Stevia does not raise blood glucose levels. Some studies tend to prove that its usage actually reduce blood glucose levels!

Stevia's raw form comprises, approximately, 100 nutritional ingredients, such as volatile oils, rutin and B sitosterol

Opportunites and the future of Stevia

Given the Stevia's importance, there is a strong move for recognizing Stevia as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Substance) by American Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Currently Stevia is been used by American food industry, but even greater usage, and more scientific studies exists in Japanese market.

Scientifically speaking, there are proofs for multiple benefits to human health and Stevia now cultivated in most parts of the world and in Greece (in amateur stage).