Stevia Purification Process
San Antonio, TX. Our SVETIA® CALORIE FREE SWEETENER, is a stevia extract sweetener commercialized by METCO FOODS INC. Stevia is extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, used for more than 1500 years by the Guaraní people from Brazil and Paraguay, to sweeten their local mate tea and as medicine. The component in this plant with the best sweetener properties is rebaudioside A (Reb A), that is used in SVETIA®. According to the Global Stevia Institute (GSI) the sweet compounds of the stevia plant can be extracted from the leaf and can be used in products to achieve a very similar taste of sucrose.
Stevia is a tender perennial that loves the warm sun and water but it prefers a loose, loamy, well-drained soil. When growing conditions are most ideal, farmers typically harvest stevia multiple times per year.
The GSI says that “after the stevia leaves are harvested, they are dried and then go through a purification process involving extraction, filtration and dehydration (spray drying) that complies with regulatory standards across the globe.”
The purification process, according to the GSI, includes the following steps: The dried leaves are steeped in water in order to release their sweet tasting steviol glycoside compounds –among them the rebaudioside A (Reb A). Next, the liquid is filtered and separated from the plant material. Then the extract is purified and dried to obtain high purity stevia leaf extract with the same sweet components as found in stevia’s natural leaves. These components, known as steviol glycosides, are what food and beverage manufacturers use in their products. This process of purifying the glycosides gives stevia a more sugar-like taste compared to unprocessed crude stevia extracts. Importantly, the crude extracts are not approved for use. It is this method of purification that yields the high purity stevia extracts and is what is required to obtain the safety stamp of approval from regulatory agencies for use in foods and beverages.
In Mexico METCO® was the first company to get a patent on low-calorie sugar and on the use of stevia extract in sweeteners. It is one of the few Mexican companies whose products – among them SVETIA® with stevia extract – are the result of its own technology, which is as well, a result of its own research and development process. Currently, with patented technology, METCO® supply sweetening products for the retail market, wholesalers, food service, beverage and food industry. METCO® has eight patents in food technology (enzymes, co-crystallization, enhancers, yeasts). METCO® has just signed by HEB to supply SVETIA® with stevia extract. Now, you can find SVETIA® with stevia in your nearby HEB store.
SVETIA® Calorie – Free Sweetener is made with cane sugar and stevia extract. One packet of SVETIA® contains only one gram of carbohydrates. People with diabetes are advised to check with their registered dietitian or physician.