Stevia

All About Stevia and its Advantages as a Natural Sweetener

Stevia is primarily cultivated in Brazil, Paraguay, Japan, and China. Natural sweetener tastes between 200 and 300 times sweeter than table sugar. Stevia can be labeled as “zero-calorie” because the calories per serving are so small. Potential health advantages have been seen as a safe alternative to sugar for people with diabetes. So you may use stevia instead of Sugar. Stevia and erythritol have been licensed for use in the United States (U.S.) and do not appear to pose any health hazards when used in caution.

What is stevia?

Stevia, also known as Stevia rebaudiana, is a herb that is a member of the chrysanthemum family, a subgroup of the Asteraceae family. Stevia items sold on grocery store shelves, such as Truvia and Stevia in the Raw, do not contain whole stevia leaf. They are made from a highly concentrated stevia leaf extract called rebaudioside A (Reb-A). Many stevia items have very little stevia in them. Reb-A is 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Stevia is a non-nutritive sweetener. This means there are almost no calories in it. If you’re trying to lose weight, this may be appealing.

Some of the widely known advantages of stevia

 Weight control

There are many causes of overweight and obesity, such as physical inactivity and increased consumption of energy-dense foods rich in fat and added sugars. The consumption of added sugars has been shown to contribute an average of 16 % of the total calories in the American diet. This has been related to weight gain and decreased blood glucose regulation. Stevia does not contain sugar and very few, if any, calories. It can be part of a well-balanced diet that helps to minimize energy consumption without sacrificing taste.

Diabetes

Research has shown that stevia sweeteners do not add calories or carbohydrates to the diet. They have also shown no effect on blood glucose or insulin response. This helps people with diabetes to eat a wider range of foods and to stick with a balanced meal plan. Further analysis of five randomized controlled trials compared the impact of stevia on metabolic outcomes with placebo effects. The study concluded that stevia had limited to no effects on blood glucose, insulin levels, blood pressure, and body weight.

In one of these studies, subjects with type 2 diabetes reported that stevia resulted in substantial reductions in blood glucose and glucagon response after a meal. Glucagon is a hormone that controls blood glucose levels, and the system that secretes glucagon is often impaired in people with diabetes. Glucagon decreases as blood glucose increases. This controls the amount of glucose.

Using stevia leaf extract instead of sugar

Stevia leaf extract is a sweetener that can help maintain a healthier weight and can be a great benefit to those who need to control their blood glucose levels — people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. The stevia leaf extract is a perfect replacement for sugar, but the substitution of stevia for sugar is not exactly one for one trade. Since stevia leaf extract is so much sweeter than sugar, manufacturers have added additives that help spread sweetness, making it easier to use in exchange for sugar, such as erythritol or dextrose.

There are also different types of stevia-based sweeteners intended to make baking easier, such as baking mixtures. A mixture of stevia leaf extract and sugar, these blends help you reduce the amount of sugar in your favorite baked treats, but also allow your recipes to turn out with the proper coloring and structure that you expect when using sugar alone. When using a combination of sugar and stevia leaf extract as an ingredient, it is important to note that the finished product will still contain sugar and that the carbohydrates only count if you control your total sugar intake.

Top trends in the consumption of stevia as a sweetener

Substitute to dairy

Stevia is used as a sucrose substitute. The dairy industry has been greatly influenced by the benefits of using stevia. The International Dairy Association (IDEA) and NMPF have asked the FDA to amend the concept of milk and 17 other dairy products, including sour cream and yogurt to minimize childhood obesity and improve sales of milk. This change would allow the dairy industry to add aspartame and other sweeteners, such as stevia, to products without the inclusion of prominent consumer labels.

Enhanced Marketing and Promotional Strategies Estimated

There are still no known possible benefits of stevia for consumers in certain regions of the world. With less knowledge of stevia, customers are likely to favor the use of items containing known ingredients. The reduced success of stevia on the market is projected to have an impact on its sales in the end-use industries. As a result, the sustainability of stevia manufacturers is likely to rely on their ability to raise customer recognition through successful promotion and marketing strategies.

Plant-based Products

As customers opt for plant-based and natural products, manufacturers, especially in the food and beverage industry, are attempting to integrate natural ingredients into their products. Rising awareness of the side-effects of the hormones and antibiotics found in animal products, the vegan population, and rising respect for animals are projected to be some of the drivers of increasing demand for plant-based products. As a result, the growing trend towards the use of plant-based goods is expected to have a positive effect on the stevia industry. Stevia is a natural, high-intensity sweetener, 200-300 times sweeter than sucrose. It’s natural and helps grow low-calorie products.

Summing up

Stevia can be used as a natural ingredient capable of sweetening and growing the antioxidant content of fruit drinks while acting as a food preservative.9 Taste tests have been performed to check various combinations of stevia glycosides that will have a taste similar to table sugar. The goal is to the constant salty, metallic taste that some people experience with stevia-sweetened products and to offer a more sugary taste and flavor to the mouth.

Free Valuable Insights: Global Stevia Market to reach a market size of USD 1.1 billion by 2026

Consumers are moving towards natural products, which are projected to increase stevia production. The growing geriatric population, rising prevalence of diabetes, and health concerns to reduce excessive calorie consumption are projected to drive growth in the target market. In addition, the increased use of stevia as a sweetener in the food & beverage industry and in the pharmaceutical industry as herbal medicines and tonics are other factors projected to fuel the growth of the global stevia market over the forecast period.