Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia Rebaudiana, native to Brazil and Paraguay.
The active compounds are steviol glycosides (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside), which delivers 100-300 times the sweetness of sugar, but has no carbohydrates, calories, or artificial ingredients, therefore considered natural. Stevia is an ideal replacement for sugar, especially if you have diabetes or a carbohydrate-controlled diet. Sugar is made of sucrose, yet Stevia contains stevioside which is a glycoside compound, not a carbohydrate. As a type of glycoside, Stevia has the potential to relax the blood vessels and lowering blood pressure, since you have less stress on your cardiovascular system. Some studies also revealed Stevia has the potential to reduce bad cholesterol levels and triglycerides, as it increases the healthy cholesterol levels.
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.
The legal status of Stevia as a food additive or dietary supplement varies from country to country. In the United States, high-purity stevia glycoside extracts are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) since 2008 and allowed as ingredients in food products, but stevia leaf and crude extracts do not have GRAS or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in food. The European Union approved Stevia additives in 2011, while the people of Japan have widely used Stevia as a sweetener for decades.
Keystone offers many other sugar substitutes besides Stevia and invites you to design the exact coating you desire. To learn more about other sugar replacements, please visit our Sweeteners section or contact our sales team to discuss in detail.