Stevia is a herbaceous plant, which stems from South America and has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples as a sweetener. It can be cultivated in the Danish climate. In Japan, stevia has been used since the beginning of the 70’s, when at the same time the use of the artificial sweetener aspartame was forbidden. Today stevia is used in the USA and in Switzerland, and in 2011 it was approved for use in foods within the entire EU.

Stevia leaves contain a group of substances called steviol glycosides, which is a common name for the sweetening components: steviosid, rebaudiosid A (Reb A), rebaudiosid B, rebaudiosid C, rebaudiosid D, rebaudiosid E. These natural components sweeten 300-400 times more than sugar. They are extracted from the dried leaves in the same way as sugar is won from sugar beet/sugar cane. Steviol glycoside has now received the e-number E960. The glycoside that sweetens most is Rebaudiosid A (Reb A).

Steviol glycosides are heat-stable and can therefore be used for cooking and baking. As opposed to sugar they are not converted in the body and are therefore entirely without calorie content. The use of stevia instead of sugar can reduce the risk for consequential illnesses like overweight, diabetes 2 and high blood pressure.

Stevia Rebaudiana