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FDA Approves All Natural Zero Calorie Sweetener Stevia

From Stevia Info - 2008-12-20

The FDA has finally approved the use of the all natural, zero calorie sweetener Stevia in food, soft drinks and other drinks. The most interesting point about this sweetener is it has been available in natural food stores for many years and has been actively promoted as one of the safest alternative to sugar.

This all natural sweetener may not work in all soft drinks, its quite strong but, companies such Coca Cola (using the name of Rebiana) and Pepsi Cola (using the name of PureVia) may already have products ready to bring to market and the manufacturer Cargill (using the name of Truvia) already has a table ready product available.

Its rather interesting to many that the FDA has taken so long to approve Stevia for use in food and beverages since its been readily available since the late 1950s and has long been used by those who are very conscious about healthy additives.

There are limits to the approval by the FDA, the current approval is specifically geared towards the highly purified form of Stevia known as Rebaudioside A which some argue is the reason for the strong taste of Stevia.

Its been documented that because of the strong flavor that Stevia drinks may initially be mostly flavored waters and citrus drinks (Cokes first product will be a 50 calorie version of Sprite) while others claim this simply isnt the case.

The most significant attraction for companies such as Coke and Pepsi is that soft drink consumption has declined considerably over the years and there are hopes (and expectations) that this will revive this market among teens and young adults.

With so much focus today on diabetes, obesity and highly sweetened soft drinks (and other foods) Stevia may be the answer for many of the drink producers to breathe new life into old products.

It remains to be seen if Stevia will be able to promote additional sales in the soft drink wars and if it will begin replacing currently very popular non-sugar sweeteners that people have already been using for many years.


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