Sweeteners Regulatory Approach
San Antonio, TX, According to the article A current and global review of sweeteners; regulatory aspects, published in Nutrición Hospitalaria, 2013, the safety of sweeteners is evaluated by the national authorities, the EU Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The article says that legal aspects still need to be reviewed on a continual basis to update new scientific developments published on the safety or effective use of sweeteners. As they are very diverse molecules, there are numerous potential risk sources: interference with absorption, metabolism or the excretion of any intermediate metabolite, as well as any allergic reaction, accumulation in tissues, effects on normal intestinal flora, or interaction with other pharmaceuticals or drugs. Seven sweeteners have been approved for use in the USA: Acesulfame K, Aspartame, Neotame, Saccharin, SteviaExtract, Sucralose and Luo han guo.
In the case of stevia, the Global Stevia Institute (GSI) says that only the high purity steviaextract has been rigorously tested and given the stamp of approval by multiple regulatory organizations around the globe. Crude stevia extracts or whole stevia plant leaves are not authorized for human consumption. It is the high purity stevia extract which is used as an ingredient in food and beverages throughout the world.
The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations also refer to the concept of Estimated Daily Intake (EDI), which is a conservative estimate of the probable daily intake over a lifetime and the concentration of food additives in commonly eaten foods. Another important concept concerning consumer safety is GRAS (Generally recognized as safe), which implies that, although the potential risks aren’t yet completely understood, experience through common use has not raised any problems. This is the accepted recognition to market steviaextract currently in the USA.
Dr. Rachel Cheatham, Executive Director of the GSI, says that all the safety studies performed on stevia extract look to determine its Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI), a scientific term which is basically a guidepost for scientists to review how much of any food ingredient, including stevia extract, can be used by consumers on daily basis and other safety. “They have even taken it further and have studied how the different steviol glycosides – stevia’s components – behave in different types of food and beverages;” said Cheatham. She explained that toxicologists and nutritionists have studied the steviol glycosides to see if there’s an interaction with any of the different food components with good results. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established the ADI for steviol glycosides of 4 mg/kg body weight per day. A request for extension of use in hot beverages was evaluated by EFSA in 2014; then EFSA issued a scientific opinion assessing a use of 10 mg/L of steviol glycosides.
García Almeida, J.M. Gracia M.ª Casado Fdez. and J. García Alemán: A current and global review of sweeteners; regulatory aspects. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 2013.
Global Stevia Institute
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.