Stevia rebaudiana (S. rebaudiana) in the family Asteraceae is emerging economical specie throughout the World. S. rebaudiana are consider important plant due to its active compound in the leaves known as steviol glycosides, the purified form of steviol glycoside is known as Stevioside which are 300 times more sweeter than commercially available cane sugar. This specie originated from Paraguay and Brazil, and currently consider as an alternate substitute of cane and beet sugar. According to the literature the Brazilian and Paraguay tribes used S. rebaudiana as a sweetener in yerba mate and medicinal teas for treating heartburn and other ailments. It has been reported that S. rebaudiana leaves and in vitro regenerated tissues extracts can detoxify toxic free radicals, inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and kill the mature larvae of Anopheles stepensi.
The World Health Organization (WHO) performed a thorough evaluation of recent experimental studies of stevioside and steviol conducted on animals and humans, and concluded that stevioside and rebaudioside are not genotoxic in vitro or in vivo and that the genotoxicity of steviol and some of its oxidative derivatives in vitro is not expressed in vivo.
- Stevia is a plant, indigenous to mountainous regions of Brazil and Paraguay.
- For centuries this herbal sweetener has been used by native cultures to counteract the bitter taste of various plant base medicines and beverages.
- rebaudiana (Bertoni) was rediscovered in Paraguay in 1888 by Dr. M. S. Bertoni.
- He later botanically described and named the plant (1905) in honor of Paraguayan chemist Dr. Rebaudi.
- Half a century later the British tried to cultivate it as a replacement for sugar, but the idea never materialized.
- Three decades later in 1971. Japanese brought the seedling of stevia from Brazil and six years later Japan marketed a sweetener extracted from the stevia leaves
- China is a main Supplier of Stevioside to Japan.
- Plant: The plant closely resembles to sunflower of family Asteraceae
- Habit: The plant can grow legally in many countries.
- Chromosome: Stevia is diploid and has 11 chromosome pairs.
- Root: The root system of Stevia consists of fine and thick roots
- Leaf: The leaves are opposite and sessile.
- Flowers: Flowers are small and white with a pale purple throat.
- Seeds: The seeds are small, have little endosperm and are dispersed in the wind via a hairy pappus.
Food sweetened with Stevioside
Have you known Stevia has been used as an ingredient in Coke Zero?
An ideal sweetener in place of cane sugar.
Steviosides is a potential alternative source for replacing artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, asulfam, etc
Unlike many low calorie sweeteners, Stevioside is stable at high temperature and over a pH range of 3 -9.
- Soft drinks, teas, fruit juices
- Table top sweeteners
- Granola and snack bars
- Flavored milk
- Ice cream
- Salad dressing
- Chewing gum
Health Benefits of Stevia:
- It is diabetic-safe, Hypoglycemia and Indigestion
- It is calorie-free, control Obesity
- It is 50 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar.
- It does not adversely affect blood sugar levels.
- It is non-toxic.
- It inhibits the formation of cavities and plaque.
- It contains no artificial ingredients.
- It can be used in baking and cooking.
- Skin toning and healing
- Appetite suppressant
- Lower High Blood Pressure
- Safe for Teeth
- Lose Weight
How to Use Stevia:
There are many foods used on a daily basis that can be sweetened with stevia instead of the other harmful and refined sweeteners. For instance, homemade spaghetti sauce can be easily sweetened with stevia. Or squeeze lemon juice into water and add a dash of stevia for some refreshing low calorie lemonade. Smoothies are another terrific idea.
Stevioside Approval Country list:
- United States
- South America