- What is stevia?
Stevia is a new kind of natural sweetener extracted from a wild herbaceous plant called stevia rebaudiana. It has a feature of high sweetness and low caloric. Its sweetness is 200 to 300 times that of sucrose and calories only 1/300 that of sucrose.In addition stevia is pure white of color has appropriate taste no off-flavor no toxic or side effects no carcinogens edible and with regular consumption can prevent high blood pressure diabetes obesity heart disease dental caries and other diseases thus has been hailed as the most healthy natural sugar. Stevia can be widely used in food beverage medicine daily chemicals wine cosmetics and other industries and can save 60% of the cost in application of sucrose. Stevia has been widely used in food production in Asia South America and the United States.
Stevia has the most close flavor of sucrose among natural low caloric sweeteners which have been discovered and approved for use by Ministry of Health and Ministry of Light Industry. It’s the third kind of natural sugar substitute with development value and favour in terms of health care after the first generation of sugar source – sucrose and the second generation of sugar source - aspartame etc. With broad prospects for development it has been honored internationally as "the world's third source of sugar". China is one of the world's major producers of stevia.
The features of stevia
Stevia has the following features:4. Stevia has pure sweet taste cool and lingering which is similar to white sugar. Pure Rebaudiside A extracted from stevia has sweetness of 450 times the sucrose and better taste. The solution temperature of stevia makes a big difference in its sweetness and taste. Generally low solution temperature makes high sweetness; high solution temperature makes good taste but low sweetness. When mixed with citric acid malic acid tartaric acid lactic acid Youdu acid amino acids and others a killing effect is exerted on the aftertaste of stevia so being mixed with the above substances can play a flavored effect and improve sweetness quality.
1. Stevia of more than 80% purity appears as white crystal or white powder and its hygroscopicity is not high.
2. Soluble in water and ethanol more pure flavor and multiplied sweetness of stevia when mixed with sucrose fructose glucose maltose and others. The sugar has poor heat resistance not easy to light very stable within the PH value of 3 to 10 thus is easy to store.
3. The solution has good stability and is still very stable with heat treatment within PH range of general beverage and food. Stevia has little change stored in the organic acid solution containing sucrose for six months; it can not be decomposed in acids or alkalines medium thus can prevent fermentation discoloration and precipitation; it can reduce consistency to inhibit bacterial growth and extend product shelf life.
The advantages of stevia
1、High safety. There has been hundreds of years’ edible history in stevia’s origin (South America Paraguay Malaysia and other places) and not any poison has been found. Stevia has been approved by the majority of the most advanced countries and districts such as Japan the United States Australia New Zealand China Taiwan Korea and Hong Kong and so on. At the same time there are many major areas such as Europe whose government organization European Food Safety Authority has confirmed the safety of stevia and the European Commission also announced on November 14th 2011 to allow the use of sweetener stevia within the EU.
2. Low calorific value. Stevia is used to make low-calorie foods beverages and is very suitable for diabetes obesity arteriosclerosis patients to consume. Clinical studies found that stevia does not cause blood sugar fluctuations but also has drug efficacy to reduce the body's blood sugar and increase the level of glucose to help relieve heart disease high blood pressure heartburn low uric acid and other diseases.
3. Stevia is easy to dissolve in water and taste better when mixed with alcohol sucrose fructose isomerized sugar and so on.
4. Stevia is a non-fermented material has stable nature not easy to mildew does not change in food or beverage production and thus is easy for storage and transportation. Long-term consumption does not cause dental caries.
5. Stevia tastes like sucrose and has unique features of cool and sweet. It can be used to produce flavor food candy and so on. It can also be used as a flavoring agent. Steviainhibits off-flavor and odd flavor of certain foods and drugs thus substituting sucrose for pharmacy production of syrup granules and pills. And it can also be used for seasoning pickles products toothpaste cosmetics and cigarettes.
6. Economy. The cost of using stevia is only 30-40% that of sucrose.
Stevia can be widly used in food beverages medicines wines pickles and cosmetics etc.