Stevia rebaudiana - the natual sweetener
Stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is a plant with unusually sweet leaves, hence its other names such as sweetleaf, sweet leaf or sugarleaf. Millions of people around the world have been using it for many years as a sugar substitute. Stevia is an ideal alternative for every health-conscious consumer; for those who want to watch their weight and those who cannot or do not want to use sugar.
In brief, stevia has the following characteristics:
- It is a fully natural sweetener
- It has zero calories
- It is some 250-450 times as sweet as sweeter than sugar (sucrose)
- It is water and alcohol soluble
- It is heat resistant (up to 392 °F/200 °C) and can be used in cooking and baking
- It is pH stable (ph 3-9) in both acidic and alkaline solutions
- It can be stored for long periods
- It does not cause tooth decay
- It is safe for use by diabetics as it does not raise the blood glucose level
- It is safe for use by people suffering from phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Stevia is non-toxic; it has been tested on animals and used by humans without harmful side effects for many years
- Sweeteners made from stevia do not ferment
- The stevia plant can be easily cultivated in a garden or even in pots.
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