Stevia is at the forefront of plant-based sweeteners. It’s high intensity. Such minute quantities are used that it doesn’t contribute calories.
Stevia is not a single component. The term refers to sweet compounds found in the stevia leaf. Extracts are derived from leaves of the South American plant Stevia rebaudiana. More than 10 different sweet steviol glycosides are found within the stevia leaf. Rebaudioside A (Reb A) is the best known. Steviol (aglycone), Stevioside, Dulcoside A, Rubusoside, Rebaudioside B, D, E, and F follow. Science continues to not only discover new compounds, but more importantly to food scientists, identify their potential as a sweetener. Research continues to hone in on exact glycosides no matter how small their presence in the leaf. Rebaudioside M, also known as Rebaudioside X, is a relatively new player.