What are stevia products?
Stevia products are sweeteners extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant, used for centuries as a natural sweetener. The extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories, making it an attractive alternative to traditional sugars and artificial sweeteners. Stevia products come in various forms, including liquid extracts, crystallised sweeteners and powders.
The products can be used to replace sugar in baking and cooking and to sweeten drinks such as coffee and tea. Many stevia products are now also available in pre-packaged foods such as breakfast cereals and snacks.
The history of Stevia: Why has it become so popular?
Stevia has been part of traditional medicine for centuries, but only recently did modern science begin to recognise its potential. The plant's sweetening power was discovered in the 1970s and quickly gained popularity as an alternative to artificial sweeteners on the market. Its natural nature made it attractive to health-conscious consumers looking for a better option.
In recent years, the use of stevia has skyrocketed around the world as food producers recognise its low-calorie and natural qualities.
Why can't stevia products be organic?
Although steviol glycoside is considered a natural product, it cannot be classified as organic according to organic farming rules. This is because the process of extracting steviol glycosides from the leaves of the stevia plant uses chemicals and solvents such as ethanol.
Also not a sweetener in organic products?
Steviol glycoside is often added to foods as a sweetener and is therefore known under the European classification of additives with the E number E960. According to European legislation, additives such as E960 can only be added to organic foods if no organic alternatives are available and they meet specific safety requirements. As organic alternatives to stevia are available to sweeten products, such as organic honey, rice or agave syrup, adding E960 to organic products is not allowed.
Do stevia products have health benefits?
Stevia products may offer a number of health benefits due to their lower glycaemic index and calorie-free content. Replacing sugar with stevia sweeteners can help reduce total calorie intake
As always, it is important to consult a health expert before making any changes to your diet.
Is Stevia a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to sugar?
Stevia is a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to sugar. The stevia plant is naturally drought-resistant, so it does not require significant irrigation or fertiliser like some other sweeteners. Moreover, stevia plants produce more leaves over time, which enhances their durability as a sweetener. Moreover, no artificial chemicals are used in the production of stevia, making it a more natural and sustainable option than many artificial sweeteners. Finally, stevia products are biodegradable and can be safely composted when no longer needed. So for those looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to sugar, stevia is a great alternative.