The just-food briefing - stevia: is it the holy grail of sweeteners?
Few ingredients have been discussed as much as stevia in recent months. The natural, zero-calorie intense sweetener is seen as having a lot of potential but can it live up to the hype?
The natural and zero-calorie stevia has been dubbed the holy grail of intense sweeteners and suppliers argue food and drink manufacturers will increasingly turn to the ingredient, not least now it can be used in the EU following regulatory approval last year. In part one of this month's just-food briefing, Jonathan Thomas looks at stevia's potential.
Stevia has been widely used - with some success - in carbonated soft drinks and table-top sweeteners containing the ingredient continue to be launched. However, suppliers are increasingly looking at how to use the sweetener in food, particularly categories like dairy and confectionery. Jonathan Thomas reports.
For all the talk of stevia's potential, there are concerns over the ingredient, not least in the quality of supplies and the taste of products that contain the sweetener.
A number of major suppliers have built a significant presence in the stevia sector, with new entrants emerging. Jonathan Thomas looks at the major players in the industry - Cargill and PureCircle - and other companies supplying the intense sweetener.
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