When it comes to the increasingly popular, all-natural, high intensity sweeteners based on extracts from the stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana), suppliers are differentiating by sourcing, processing methods and composition. All of this affects the stevia ingredient’s taste of sweet and flavor of sweet.

“Stevia products are not alike,” said Thom King, president of Steviva Ingredients, Portland, Oregon “Their only commonality is that they are all derived from the stevia plant. Multiple compounds within the stevia leaves — steviol glycosides — have characteristics ranging from sweet to bitter. Isolating the purest, best-tasting components from leaves grown in a controlled environment is half the challenge. The method used to extract these compounds significantly impacts flavor and quality.”

The company recently introduced a concentrated stevia extract that contains 98% minimum rebaudioside A (reb A), which has intense sweetness, Mr. King said. “The flavor is a sharper, sweet profile in comparison to the softer, smoother profile of our original extract,” he said. “We also have an erythritol and stevia blend that is a 1:2 plugin replacement for sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. It is used in several carbonated soft drinks and even more energy drinks. By using this sweetener combination, manufacturers have enjoyed up to a 98% sugar reduction.”

Erythritol is a bulk sweetener that has zero sugar, zero calories and zero aftertaste.

Food Business News:http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn/2014_05_06/#/46


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