Natural sweeneters (stevia)

Stevia is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana.The active compounds of stevia are steviol glycosides (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside), which have up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar.

The European Union approved stevia additives (E960) in 2011, but in South America stevia leaves have been used traditionally as a natural sweetener for hundreds of years.

Stevia is being mainly used as a noncaloric natural sweetener in low-sugar food and health products.