Steviol glycosides have been permitted as sweeteners in the USA, Australia and New Zealand since the end of 2008. In other countries such as Japan, Brazil and Korea, steviol glycosides are considered as natural constituents and are therefore accepted for the use in food.
The French government officially authorised the stevia ingredient rebaudioside A as a sweetener in 2009. In April 2010 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the use of steviol glycosides (SVglys) as a sweetener in food as safe. Subsequently, the European Commission approved the use of the sweetener in July 2011. The European Parliament gave its consent on 14 November 2011.
Steviol glycosides or E960
From this day on, use is permitted, albeit under strict conditions. The name Steviol glycosides (SVglys ) stands for a group of 10 sweeteners all with the same core Steviol and is referred to by the EU as E960. The conditions consist of a restriction on the maximum admissible dose per kilogram of body weight and conditions on the terms used on packaging. The main sweeteners in this group are stevioside and rebaudioside A, or RebA.
Steviol glycosides healthy sweetener
In 2011, steviol glycosides were included in the European list of food additives with E-number E960. A number of positive properties are:
- This group of sweeteners (E960) has no adverse effect on teeth and has no effect on insulin and/or blood sugar levels, making it also suitable for diabetics. It is expected that many products containing steviol glycosides will be introduced on the market in the near future.
- The sweetener is heat-stable i.e. the chemical structure does not change when heated.
Since the approval of E960, the way is clear for stevia to be used in all kinds of food products. The use of steviol glycosides in food will increase significantly in the coming years.
Coca Cola and steviol glycosides
In France, three months after the French government officially allowed rebaudioside A (rebA) as a sweetener, The Coca-Cola Company was the first to produce coca cola stevia. For this purpose, Fanta Still, a non-carbonated Fanta variant with stevia extract sweetener has been sweetened. Since then, there has been a so-called hype in which large companies try to make money on the back of stevia extract sweetener. They are not afraid to mislead customers by misleading marketing and publications, examples of which are over.
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