Stevia has been used for hundreds of years and today its use in foods and beverages is backed by modern science. The form of stevia found in today’s food and beverages around the world is generally high-purity stevia leaf extract, which is a purified form of stevia extract that has been evaluated and approved by global regulatory agencies. There are over 200 scientific research studies that support the safety of high purity stevia extracts for use in foods and beverages and demonstrate the properties of stevia and its metabolism.Stevia leaf extract is produced through a process that is similar to how other plant ingredients, such as sugar and vanilla are produced. The sweet molecules called steviol glycosides of the stevia plant are naturally found in the stevia leaf and are extracted and purified to produce stevia ingredients with a purely sweet taste. There are many steviol glycosides naturally present in the stevia leaf. Purified stevia leaf extracts can contain one steviol glycoside or several different glycosides, which can be up to 300 times sweeter than sucrose.High purity stevia leaf extract is a versatile sweetening ingredient for foods and beverages and offers consumers and food and beverage producers a new option for natural-origin sweetness without the calories.
The sweet components within stevia leaves are a group of compounds called steviol glycosides, which share a common steviol backbone. Steviol glycosides are not absorbed in the stomach or small intestine, which is largely responsible for stevia’s safety and zero-calorie impact. Research also shows that there is no accumulation of stevia (or any component or by-product of stevia) in the body.