Everything you need to know about liquid sweeteners
What are liquid sweeteners?
Liquid sweeteners are, as the name suggests, sweeteners in a liquid state. When you think of sweetener, the first thing that comes to mind is sugar.
Sugar is mostly known from the 1 kilogram packs of crisp white refined sugar you can buy in the supermarket. However, sugar is only one of the many different sweeteners that exist. For several years there are also liquid sweeteners on the market, including Stevia.
What is liquid Stevia?
Stevia liquid is the liquid version of the sweetener from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant. The sweetener is available as a sweetener, but also in liquid form. You often only need a few drops of liquid Stevia to sweeten a dish, such as a cake.
The sweetener in Stevia is found in the leaves of the plant. The active substance is obtained by soaking the plants and the water with concentrate then drying, so that the substance remains.
Where to find this leaf plant?You will find the leaf plant Stevia Rebaudiana originally in South America. The plant grows in particular in high concentrations in Paraguay and Brazil. In South America, the plant has been used for centuries in tea, as well as traditional medicine.
In Europe, the plant has not been known for very long. It is less than two decades ago that Stevia was officially approved by the food authority in the European Union and is widely available.
How is Stevia extracted?
The Stevia extract is extracted from the leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana. The sweetener of the plant is only in the green leaves. These are ground and then soaked in hot water. The resulting mash is purified and then dried.
In the plant you will find the sweeteners Rebaudioside and Stevioside, which fall under the common denominator 'Stevioglycosides'. These Stevioglycosides are the active sweetener in the plant.
Stevia as a liquid sweetener
The Stevia sweetener is also available as a liquid. Liquid Stevia is used in cocktails, smoothies, health shakes, yoghurt and cottage cheese. In addition, you can bake with Stevia. A few drops are enough for most dishes. 2-3 drops of liquid stevia sweetener is equivalent to a tablespoon of sugar.
Stevia contains no calories and a Glycemic value of 0: ideal for diabetics, because it does not negatively affect blood levels.
Steviol glycoside use
The sweetener that is extracted in South and some parts of Central America can be used in countless dishes, including coffee, tea, but also baked goods and savory dishes.
Pure Stevia is 200-300 times as sweet as sugar from the supermarket. With Stevia you get an absolute power bomb in the house. You have a few drops enough for a fiery sweet taste. Although the aftertaste of Stevia (bitter, intense) as unpleasant experience.
Where to use pure Stevia
You use liquid sweeteners for example, yogurt, cottage cheese and smoothies with a unique twist. Add a few drops of Stevia to make a healthy soft drink, low in sugar and calories. Baking with Stevia can be done up to temperatures of 200 degrees Celsius. Stevia is a very powerful sweetener, so it is advisable not to add too much at once.
Is Stevia the ultimate replacement for sugar?Liquid sweeteners are used for many different purposes, including Stevia. Stevia is very powerful, tasty (sometimes with an aftertaste) and free of carbohydrates. Stevia is a good alternative for anyone who is dieting or wants to watch their weight. In addition to that, Stevia is ideal for diabetics (be careful when taking some medicines) because it has a Glycemic Index of 0.
Stevia is not bad for the teethCavities are quite common in (small) children. But adults also suffer from them quite often. With sugar and most other sweeteners, the risk of cavities is greater than with stevia. Sugar is the big culprit that has caused a sharp increase in tooth decay among people in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
How safe is Stevia?
In principle, there is nothing wrong with Stevia. The sweetener from South America has been extensively tested by the food authority of the European Union and no problems were found.
Of course you should, like sugar, not get too much of it. A limit of 4 milligrams per kilo of body weight per day is recommended: that is 240 milligrams for someone of 60 kilograms. Stevia is in that ratio is also safe to use during pregnancy or lactation.
Does Stevia also have disadvantages?Liquid sweeteners are not necessarily healthy. This also applies to Stevia. Stevia often works gradually and provides a less 'harmonious' taste balance than ordinary sugar. At least, that is often the perception. Some people find the aftertaste very strong and unpleasant. It is often described as 'metallic'. In short: Stevia is not as popular as sugar with everyone. Stevia also does not go well with all medicines, especially lithium.
Is Stevia healthy?
Liquid sweeteners are alternatives to 'ordinary' sugar. But are they really healthy? Stevia is available both as a liquid sweetener and in the form of sweeteners (pills). Stevia is less unhealthy than sugar, but not necessarily healthy.
The sweetener contains no calories and has a Glycemic Index of 0. But apart from that, Stevia does not contribute directly to a healthy diet. People like sweet, because sweet is tasty. Stevia is the healthiest option to indulge.
Other liquid sweeteners: Agave syrup
Agave syrup is also a natural liquid sweetener. Agave syrup is syrup from the agave plant. It is found in South America and the southeast of the United States. The plant is usually associated with Mexico, where it has been used for centuries.
In Europe and the West, agave syrup is a relatively new discovery. The sugar is in the juice of the plant. By the (ancient) Mexicans the juice was boiled to make agave nectar.
What is agave syrup used for nowadays?Tequila, you probably know the alcoholic drink. The liquid sweetener is used (at least the fermented sugars in it) for the production of tequila: one of Mexico's biggest - and best known - exports. The plant is also used in traditional medicine.
Graft syrup: how do they make it?
The plant is cut and then pressed to extract the sugar-like liquid. This liquid contains a lot of sugar, plus fructans. Fructans stimulate the metabolism.
Agave syrup does contain a high level of fructose, which is created when the substance is processed. Fructose in large quantities is unhealthy, has a low Glycemic Index. Agave syrup is therefore a good alternative for people who have to watch their blood levels.
What is maple syrup?
Maple syrup is a product made from the juice of the maple tree. This syrup is known as very sweet. Maple syrup is mainly produced in Canada (no less than 80% of the world production). The Maple Leave (the leaf of the maple tree) does not adorn the Canadian flag for nothing.
The maple forests are also called "sugar forests". Striking is that the harvest season is only 6 weeks long, namely from the beginning of March until the end of April. Particularly delicate.