Stevia Extract Processing Steps
San Antonio, TX. Stevia extract, obtained from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, has been used for centuries by the Guaraní people from Brazil and Paraguay, to sweeten their local mate tea and as medicine. The stevia plant 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.
According to the Global Stevia Institute (GSI) the sweet compounds of the stevia plant can currently be extracted from the leaf and can be used in products to achieve a very similar taste of sucrose. 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. 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 extracta 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.
Svetia® Calorie Free Sweetener is a stevia extract based sweetener purified through a co-crystallization process patented by METCO FOODS INC. The high intensity sweetener in Svetia® Calorie -Free Sweetener is rebaudioside A (Reb A), a steviol glycoside obtained from the stevia leaf, which can be anywhere from 200 to 350 times sweeter than sugar – but all without calories. Svetia® uses 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® Calorie -Free Sweetener meets the Food and Drug Administration’s criteria for no-calorie foods (less than 5 calories per serving).
You can find Svetia® Calorie -Free Sweetener in all HEB supermarkets across Texas or online at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XZE7UDS
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.