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Benefits of Stevia
The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycosides.
1. Stevia
Stevia rebaudiana is a South American plant of the Asteraceae family, which also includes sunflowers and chrysanthemums. Native to Paraguay, stevia has traditionally been used to sweeten beverages and make tea. The termsteviarefers to the entire plant and its components, only some of which are sweet.
2. What is stevia
Stevia plants grow and are harvested in many countries around the world, predominantly in China and Brazil. The plants grow 24 feet in height with slim, branched stems, and thrive in temperate and some tropical regions. Stevia is grown by natural, conventional plant breeding methods such as crosspollination and other nongenetically modified processes.
3. Intensely sweet
As stevia is intensely sweet and an extract, it typically requires only a fifth of the land and much less water to provide the same amount of sweetness as other mainstream sweeteners. For example, in Kenya, stevia is typically grown on only a third of the land, with the rest of the land being devoted to other crops.
4. How is stevia extracted
Steviol glycosides are extracted from the stevia leaf, filtered, and purified. This process is similar to how other plant ingredients such as sugar and vanilla extract are obtained. The sweet molecules in the stevia plant are extracted by steeping the dried leaves in water, followed by separating and purifying the besttasting steviol glycosides.
5. Steviol glycosides
Steviol glycosides are found in the leaves of the stevia plant. They have particular taste profiles and intense sweetness. Steviol glycosides can be isolated and purified from the leaves of the stevia plant and are approved for use in countries including Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Paraguay. In the US, steviol glycosides with high rebaudioside content are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use as a tabletop sweetener.


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