EU gives the green light on natural sweetener Stevia
The European Commission announced on the 14th that it is permitted to use sweetener stevioside in the EU. This natural plant sweetener may replace synthetic sweeteners which are currently used in foods,such as aspartame.
The European Commission said in a communique issued on the same day that the decision to use the sweetener in the production and processing of various foods was made with the support of the European Food Safety Agency.
Steviose is a new natural sweetener extracted from Stevia rebaudiana, a wild herb native to Paraguay. Its sweetness is 200 to 300 times that of sucrose, and its heat is only 1/300 of sucrose. Steviose is expected to be a substitute for the first generation of sugar sources, such as sucrose, and the second generation of sugar sources, such as aspartame.
Data from the international sweetener industry show that steviose has been widely used in food production in Asia, South America and the United States. China is one of the main producers of Stevia in the world.