The sweetness found in stevia can be attributed to steviol gylcosides, the sweet components of the leaf: stevioside and rebaudioside. These natural sweeteners are over 200 times sweeter than sugar.
The Stevia Plant
Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni (commonly called stevia) is a member of the Chrysanthemum plant family.
Stevia is a natural herbal sweetener with no calories and no carbohydrates. Called â€œKaâ€™a Heâ€™eâ€ (â€œSweet Herbâ€) in Guarani, the indigenous language of Paraguay and parts of Brazil, the stevia leaf has been used as a sweetener for hundreds of years.
Steviol glycosides are natural constituents of the extracts from the stevia plant that generally contain Stevioside, Rebaudioside (Reb A) and small amounts of other steviol glycosides. These natural sweeteners are more than 200 times sweeter than sugar.
Safe for people watching their sugar intake, stevia has grown in popularity as a sweetener for coffees and teas.
Quick facts about the stevia plant
- Stevia has no calories and no carbohydrates.
- The sweetness found in stevia is attributed to components found in its leaves.
- Naturally sweet, stevia can be used to sweeten your food and drinks without the chemicals of artificial sweeteners or the calories of sugar.
The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011