The leaves of the stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant, sometimes known as “stevia,” are used to make stevia leaf extract. For decades, stevia has been a source of high-intensity sweetness, however the sweetness it generated was sometimes unpredictable and contained stray flavors in the early years. Tropical and subtropical areas are ideal for growing stevia.
Stevia Is Grown, Harvested And Extracted
Stevia plants are typically farmed on small farms in Asia, South America, and other tropical and subtropical climes. Stevia leaves are picked and dried to extract the plant’s strong sweetness. After that, the leaves are steeped in boiling water. The purified stevia leaf extract is ready to be sold commercially after numerous processes of filtration and centrifuging to concentrate the leaf’s tastiest components. Steviol glycosides, which are the sweet-tasting components of the leaves, make up stevia extract. At least 95% steviol glycosides must be present in food-grade stevia leaf extract. This is the standard in the vast majority of nations where stevia extract is sold.
Stevia Leaf Extract Is Refined, Purified And Packaged
Beginning with food-grade steviol glycosides, a company can package the extract in a variety of ways for diverse product applications. Because stevia leaf extract is so sweet (200-350 times sweeter than sugar), it takes a lot less of it to achieve the same sweetness as sugar. Small doses of stevia extract, on the other hand, would be difficult for individuals to use, particularly for routine sweetening.
The very sweet stevia extract is made easier to consume by combining it with other components to balance out the sweetness. For example, this may be combined with dextrose, maltodextrin, inulin, or erythritol to create a stevia-based sweetener that may be used to sweeten meals and beverages similarly to sugar.