Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 6 Issue 3, 2004; Page No.(453-460 )

STEVIA REBALIDIANA, BIO-SWEETENER OF THE FUTURE: A REVIEW

A. SABITHA RANI, M. SATYAKALA AND U. SURYANARAYANA MURTY

Abstract

During the last two decades, the changes in modern life style and food habits like excessive sugar intake have resulted in obesity and diabetes in majority of people. In order to cater the needs of such people, the market is flooded with many artificial sweeteners. However, a regular use of these sweeteners resulted in many toxic effects. Hence, there is a great search world wide to find a new, non-caloric sweetener without any side effects. Stevia rebaudiana, small herb of the family, Compositae has emerged as the sweetener of the future. The leaves of this plant are reported to posse's intense sweet taste i.e. 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. In many countries like China, Korea and Japan. It is regularly used in the preparation of food products and replaced the 30% of regular sugar usage. There has been no complaints or harmful side effects, since its 1500 years of use in Paraguay. Hence there is a great market demand of Stevia, a natural sweetener. The present review consists of various aspects of S. rebaudiana i.e habit and habitat, cultivation, uses, processing, properties, economics of production, safety of usage, future research needs etc.

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