Stevia’s Impact in the Food and Beverage World
San Antonio, TX, According to the Global Stevia Institute (GSI), stevia is continually being adopted as a zero calorie, naturally sourced ingredient in each region of the world, as food and beverage companies strive to use it in new products and reformulations. Dr. Priscilla Samuel. GSI‘s new Director, said that to date, an impressive 5000 plus stevia sweetened food and beverage products have been launched globally in a relatively short period of time, as the food industry is demanded to be part of the solution in helping to reduce the burden of disease, specially obesity.
Dr. Samuel stated that being a zero-calorie, plant based natural sweetener, stevia extract is a safe sweetener, 350 times sweeter than sugar, which gives it a unique position in the market. Stevia is currently being used as a tool to reduce energy and sugar intake, which can contribute to reduce overweight. “For those looking for great tasting foods, made with natural-origin and sustainable sweeteners that provide sweet but help control the extra inches and pounds as part of a healthy diet, stevia sweetened foods and beverages are a great option,” she said.
For Dr. Samuel, stevia has still some challenges as an ingredient. As a fairly new sweetener for most people, its awareness is relatively low around the world. “However, as new products are launched and the science behind stevia is increasingly known and understood, I expect that the awareness and acceptance of stevia is likely to increase dramatically,” she said.
Dr. Samuel added that many people are still concerned about stevia‘s naturality because in many countries the term “natural” in the context of food and beverages is not formally defined by regulatory authorities. However, she says, stevia is now grown in four continents, and in countries including Paraguay, Argentina, Vietnam, India and the United States. “As the science and technology continues to develop around stevia, and its familiarity and understanding as a sweetener increases, I do believe that some of these questions and concerns will be minimized. The opportunity of stevia in foods and beverages is still in its infancy. I expect that our scientific learnings about stevia will continue to grow and that science and technology will help to bring many more innovations to the marketplace,” she said.
In Mexico, METCO® was the first company to get a patent on the use of stevia extract. Now, METCO® has successfully signed as an HEB supplier of its product SVETIA® with stevia extract, which you can now find in your closest HEB store in Texas. SVETIA® is at present the best stevia extract choice to sweeten your food and beverages.
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.