Fresh Stevia Growth Project

What is STEVIA?

Leaves of the stevia plant are used to make a sugar substitute. Stevia is perhaps unique among food ingredients because it’s most valued for what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t add calories. Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is derived from a
plant.The stevia plant is part of the Asteraceae family, related to the daisy and ragweed. Several stevia species called candyleaf are native to New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. But the prized species, Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni), grows in Paraguay and Brazil, where
people have used leaves from the stevia bush to sweeten food for hundreds of years.Moises Santiago Bertoni, an Italian botanist, is often credited with the discovery of stevia in the late 1800s, even though the native Guarani people had used it for centuries.
Known as kaa-he (or sweet herb) by the native population, the leaves of the plant had many uses. In traditional medicine in these regions, stevia served as a treatment for burns, colic, stomach problems and sometimes as a contraceptive. The leaves were also
chewed on their own as a sweet treat.

A Sugar Substitute


Today, stevia is part of the sugar substitute market. High-purity steviol glycosides, an extract of the stevia plant, is considered generally safe for use in food. Europeans added more sugar to their diet every year since the 1970s until 2000. When Europeans dropped the added sugar, they turned to sugar-like extracts. The sugar substitute market was estimated to be worth $13.26 billion in 2015, according an analysis by Markets and Markets research firm. The firm projected that the market would reach $16.5 billion by
2020. Just 18 percent of EU. adults used low- or no-calorie sweeteners in 2000. Now, 24 percent of adults and 12 percent of children use the sugar substitutes.

Does STEVIA work?


Stevia has no calories, and it is 200 times sweeter than sugar in the same concentration. Other studies suggest stevia might have extra health benefits.
According to a 2017 article in the Journal of Medicinal Food, stevia has potential for treating endocrine diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, but that more research is needed. Other studies also suggest stevia could benefit people with Type 2 diabetes, but Catherine Ulbricht.
The study found people did not overeat after consuming a meal made with stevia instead of sugar. Their blood sugar was lower after a meal made with stevia than after eating a meal with sugar, and eating food with stevia resulted in lower insulin levels than eating either sucrose and aspartame.

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