Information submited: 2015-06-04 Modified: 2018-06-04 By: 1
Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia Rebaudiana.
Stevia is a South American herb used as a natural sweetener for centuries. The leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant have a refreshing taste, zero glycemic index, zero calories and zero carbs. It is 25 - 30 times sweeter than Sugar, and far more healthy.
Stevia has no calories, and it is 200 times sweeter than Sugar in the same concentration. Other studies suggest Stevia might have extra health benefits.
The Stevia plant is part of the Asteraceae family, related to the daisy and ragweed. Several Stevia species called "Candyleaf" are native to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. It is part of the Sunflower family and its leaves are naturally sweet. In fact, the indigenous people used to chew them for their sweet taste and use them to naturally sweeten beverages.
The plant Stevia Rebaudiana has been used for more than 1,500 years by the Guaraní peoples of South America, who called it Ka'a he'ê ("Sweet Herb"). The leaves have been used traditionally for hundreds of years in both Brazil and Paraguay to sweeten local teas and medicines, and as a "Sweet Treat".
Stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of Sugar, and some of its extracts may have a bitter or Licorice - like aftertaste at high concentrations.
Extraction metod: Rebaudioside A has the least bitterness of all the steviol glycosides in the Stevia Rebaudiana plant.
To produce rebaudioside A commercially, Stevia plants are dried and subjected to a water extraction process. This crude extract contains about 50% rebaudioside A. The various glycosides are separated and purified via crystallization techniques, typically using ethanol or methanol as solvent.
The active compounds of Stevia are steviol glycosides, which have up to 150 times the sweetness of Sugar are heat - stable, pH - stable, and not fermentable.