Tuesday, December 23, 2008

FDA indicates Partial Approval of Stevia as a Sweetener

The quote below from NaturalNews.com is the best explanation I've seen about what the FDA actually did with regard to Stevia last week. They did not give a blanket approval to all use of stevia. Rather, they notified certain companies they had no objection to their stevia products being used as a sweetener, including in food and drink products. It is a big step forward for stevia in the U.S, but it seems the approval process is not yet complete. 
FDA Approves Stevia, Ends the Era of Oppression of this Herbal Sweetener - UPDATE 1: "Technically, the FDA has only issued letters of 'no objection' regarding companies' self-affirmation of GRAS approval for stevia. In other words, the FDA hasn't technically granted approval to stevia but has affirmed it will not object to companies using it in foods and beverages. This puts stevia in a 'grey zone' where the FDA could potentially target selected companies (small stevia producers) while ignoring other companies (Coca-Cola and Cargill, for example), even while they use essentially the same sweeteners."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New pure stevia product available

This one doesn't have fillers. So it should work with recipes in my book, "Stevia Sweet Recipes."
Stevia Extract In The Raw(TM) is a Natural Choice for Sugar Substitute Consumers - MarketWatch: "And unlike its competitors, Stevia In The Raw doesn't add other sweeteners such as erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and isomaltulose (a simple sugar)."

Review of Zevia Soda with stevia

This person really like the new root beer flavor. I havn't tried that one yet, but I like the other flavors.
New No-Calorie Soda Natural Sweetener StopAgingNow.com: "Instead of using phosphoric acid, found it regular and diet sodas, which leaches calcium from your bones, Zevia uses tartatric acid, which comes from grapes. All the other ingredients are natural too, including caffeine from coffee, tea or kola nut."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stevia gaining favor

MaryJane Butters: Stevia, the no-calorie sweetener, is gaining favor - Salt Lake Tribune: "More and more people are developing a lower tolerance for sugar, and some are even losing their ability to process it in a healthy way altogether. From headaches and upset stomachs to hypoglycemia and diabetes, sugar has the capability to throw our systems out of whack."

Stevia market demand growing

The market for stevia appears to be growing, especially for the new products based on Rebaudioside A, the substance in stevia leaves thought to produce the best taste. Most of this demand will likely be met by very large scale plantations. However, a greater visibility for stevia among the public should help open up opportunities for smaller growers to sell stevia plants and other stevia products on a local level.
Food Ingredients First ::: "The potential market for PureVia Reb-A is now estimated at more than US$1.3 billion – and growing fast: only this month, Australia and New Zealand (October 2008) are the latest to grant approval for Stevia to be used as an ingredient in their food and beverage products."

Monday, October 06, 2008

Stevia approved as food & beverage ingredient in Australia & New Zealand

Maybe the U.S. will be the next location for full approval.
Business New natural sweetner gets OK - Weekly Times Now: "AFTER a decade of research, CQUniversity has received approval for the natural sweetener steviol glycosides (stevia), as an ingredient in foods and beverages in Australia and New Zealand."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stevia for your sweet drink habit

The article linked below mentions a study comparing candy intake and sugary drinks. Those eating extra candy in their diet did not consume more calories overall, but those drinking extra sugary drinks did consume substantially more calories overall. Drinking calories fails to make one feel full it seems, so we go ahead and consume more calories.

Stevia is a good solution to this problem. Hot tea or iced tea with stevia and mint is a real treat, and adds very few colories to your diet.

Think Before You Drink - Page 1 - MSN Health & Fitness - Nutrition

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Could Stevia benefit from higher sugar prices?

The article linked below mentions that it is much less expensive to make ethanol from sugar as opposed to corn. This is expected to result in much higher sugar prices and growing demand for sugar alternatives such as stevia. Stevia could be grown in many more places than sugar cane. It can be grown as an annual in cold winter climates, and thrives with varied soil conditions. It could be an ideal crop for replacing opium Poppy production in some countries. It would also grow well where Tobacco is now grown.
Olam CEO: Sugar Prices To Rise Over Next Yr On Biofuel Demand

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another corporate giant develops stevia derived sweetener

Illinois-based Corn Products International intends to seek U.S. approval for its new rebaudioside A rich sweetener to be used in processed products in the U.S. This news adds to other initiatives by Cargill, Coca Cola, and others. They plant to produce stevia in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres.
Corn Products International Adds Stevia-Based, High-Intensity Sweetener to Its Ingredient... Reuters

Monday, June 16, 2008

Popularity of stevia growing among gardeners

Here is a nice column about stevia from Jim Long, an herbalist in Southern Missouri:
Jim Long's Garden: Stevia, Sweetener of the Future

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Are Tomatoes Safer At The Farmers Market?

This article concludes that at least at a farmer's market, you can ask questions of the actual grower. The farmers have to answer directly to their end users, so I would hope they would be careful about food safety issues. Amother possibilty is to grow some of your own produce!
Are Tomatoes Safer At The Farmers Market?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Article claims FDA will Review Stevia product for use as a food additive

This sounds more like I thought the approval process would work. This article claims the FDA will review Cargill's new stevia extract product for possible approval as a food additive. No mention of "Self Determination as discussed in my previous blog. This approval would be big news for stevia and for people wanting a natural alternative to artificial low-calorie sweeteners.
No-Calorie Natural Sweetener on the Way: "The FDA says it will review Truvia's case to be considered 'generally recognized as safe,' which would pave the way for it to become the first stevia product allowed as a food additive in the U.S."

Companies claim GRAS status for stevia through 'self determination'

I had thought any stevia-derived product would have to go through a formal FDA review process to be allowed in processed food products as a sweetener. This article is the first I've heard of this "self-determination of GRAS status" mechanism. GRAS means "Generally Recognized as Safe." If anyone knows more about this mechanism, please leave a comment.
Sweet Success for Stevia…finally :: News :: Natural and Nutritional Products Industry Center: "both companies used the same sling shot – a route called “self-determination of GRAS status.” This allows for the safety of the product to be decided by the views of experts, as long as there are significant published, peer-reviewed studies, available in the public domain. Wisdom Natural Brands and Cargill both hired teams of stevia experts (with FDA experience) to garner enough scientific support for each of their respective ingredients."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Food companies ready to enter stevia market

It looks like companies in Malaysia and the U.S. are prepared to meet market demand when and if stevia is fully approved in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Food and Beverage Giants Lining Up to Cash in When Stevia Gets GRAS Approval in U.S.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New stevia safety studies published

Cargill is working on a new stevia-based food additive and expects FDA approval according to this article:
Stevia-Based Rebiana Sweetener Studies Published
The studies are published in the journal "Food and Chemical Toxicology."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another try for Stevia approval as food additive

This CNN report includes comments from those involved in getting stevia approved as a food additive in the U.S.
Market Spotlight: Alternative Sweeteners