Health Canada’s Food Directorate recently approved steviol glycosides containing the steviol glycoside “rebaudioside M” (Reb M) as a high-intensity sweetener for foods and beverages. On January 15, 2016, it announced that Reb M was approved for the same food and beverage categories, and under the same conditions of use, as the previously-permitted steviol glycosides in Canada.

After performing a detail safety analysis, Health Canada concluded that there were no safety concerns with the sweetener. Reb M is one of the many steviol glycosides that is naturally present in the stevia leaf and often sought after due to its clean, sugar-like taste.

Steviol glycosides are high intensity sweeteners extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant, Stevia rebaudiana. The sweet molecules are 200 – 350 times sweeter than sugar, and can be used in a variety of food and beverage products across the world. Their approval requires that total steviol glycoside content must not be less than 95 percent.

The full list of approved steviol glycoside sweeteners in Canada include one or any combination the following:

  • Rebaudioside M
  • Stevioside
  • Rebaudioside A
  • Rebaudioside B
  • Rebaudioside C
  • Rebaudioside D
  • Rebaudioside F
  • Dulcoside A
  • Rubusoside
  • Steviolbioside

This new development for rebaudioside M extracted from the stevia leaf is exciting as it makes the possibility for a broader portfolio of great tasting stevia leaf extracts possible in Canada.

For more information, please visit Health Canada.