The Natural Origin of Stevia
San Antonio TX. The Global Stevia Institute (GPS) defines stevia as a “naturally sourced, zero calorie, and sustainable sweetening ingredient for foods and beverages.” It is an extract from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana that has been used as a natural sugar substitute around the globe for centuries. It is an option for people who want zero calorie sweetness from a natural source.
Dr. Rachel Cheatham, Executive Director of the Global Stevia Institute (GSI), says that when it is said that something is of “natural origin”, according to the GSI, it means that it comes from a plant. She says that, currently, consumers are very interest in knowing if what they are eating is “natural” or not. “What they really want to know is if it is safe, if it is a simple ingredient, if it is from the earth, if it was grown on the ground, if they can feel good about eating it and giving it to their families,” she says. Dr. Cheatham states that stevia is natural because it is a leafy green plant that is grown on the ground, by real farmers, who put the seeds in; it receives the right sunlight, it has the right water, and it is eventually harvested when it is at its peak and then goes to process to bring it into a powder form to go into foods and beverages.
Stevia is not only natural but also sustainable, as its farming, extraction and purification require less water, land, and energy than other naturally sourced sweet ingredients. According to GSI, in communities around the world, stevia farming is not replacing food crops, but instead provides the opportunity to diversify crops that the farmer relies on for income.
The GSI states that stevia is available in many ways. Sometimes it is the sole sweetener and other times it is blended with other zero calorie sweeteners. Often it is blended with sugar in reduced-calorie foods and beverages. This is the case of SVETIA® Calorie-Free Sweetener, which blends its main ingredient, stevia extract, with cane sugar as a bulking agent or carrier because of its natural origin and because its glycemic index is lower than the one of dextrose and maltodextrin, providing an excellent profile of flavor and natural sweetness. Cane sugar as bulking agent provides so few calories per serving that SVETIA® meets the Food and Drug Administration’s criteria for no-calorie foods (less than 5 calories per serving).
You can find SVETIA® with stevia extract in all HEB supermarkets across Texas.
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.