Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Whispering Hill's Stevia Information Sheet

History: Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is a naturally sweet, herbal plant. Native to South America, it has been used for centuries by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay as a sweetener for herbal teas and other beverages. Today it is cultivated in Mexico, Paraguay, Central America, Japan, China, Malaysia, South Korea and very recently, Canada. No doubt, Canadians are going to spend years reinventing the wheel - rediscovering the intuitive knowledge that the Guarani had of the many uses of stevia.

How sweet is Stevia? The measurement of sweetness is a technical matter which is defined precisely. Dried stevia leaves are 30 to 40 times as sweet as sucrose. When the steviosides (a certain class of compounds) are extracted from stevia leaves and then isolated and purified, the result can be 250 to 300 times as sweet as sucrose. One should not jump to the conclusion that stevia is "equal" to a certain amount of sugar. Its want to design recipes using stevia, you may need to run a few experiments to get the right quantities. Also, stevia contains of many phytonutrients not found in sugar: chromium, manganese, selenium, silicon, iron, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, Vitamin C, bioflavonoids and zinc. The body may be able to assimilate these trace nutrients more easily in their stevia form that from other sources.

What are the concerns of Health Canada? Along with about 20 other regulatory agencies, Health Canada is taking a very cautious stance, In order to properly test stevia, pure sources are needed and reproducible experiments must be done. When a product is the result of extraction from a natural plant, the risk of co-extraction of contaminants, variability of plant species, and weed infestation can result in irreproducible toxicity studies. If something is extracted from a weed and then highly concentrated, the result could be very dangerous.

What are some of the current research? The anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties of stevia are being explored, for use in shampoos and oral surgery. Blood sugar control using stevia may help in diabetes, hypoglycemia, hyperactivity, and attention deficit disorder. Stevia has been used in South America to treat hypoglycemia, gingivitis (bleeding gums) and candida.

Why buy organic? Whispering Hills Vineyard Corporation is the only producer of certified organic stevia in Canada. Growing plants in the protected environment of a greenhouse is costly but it makes Whispering Hills the darling of Health Canada.

11 comments:

PA Vegetarian said...

I had a hard time finding Stevia in my area. I found it at a local bulk foods store. You can find a store near you at www.discoverbulk.com You just type in your zip and it will list the stores in your area.

Jitendra said...

I wanted to start a stevia processing plant in INDIA. Can anybody guide me ???? My main worry is marketing because in India, it has less popularity

Jitendra said...

I am looking for the sites which can guide me to sell my product

Miss Maple said...

See other information about stevia at http://blogtectives.blogspot.com/2010/02/natural-substance-with-0-calories-and.html

Latrez said...

If you are hesitant to buy stevia and use splenda I highly suggest you research. Splenda was first made while the british were trying to create a new pesticide.

Here is some info on stevia, splenda, and aspartame-

http://hubpages.com/hub/Stevia-Side-Effects

Cianoy said...

Hi! I have a couple of stevia questions. I have a couple of stevia plants at home. I've read about the sweetness factor. But I'm not sure how to use it. Can I just boil it in water to extract the sweet taste and then use it like syrup? Thanks!

Allan Murray said...

Stevia plant is a great alternative to sugar, less calories and less chances of getting diabetes.

Sugar Free Drinks for Kids

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