In our Healthy Corner not only will you find answers to virtually all questions relating to Stevia and Cavalier chocolate, but also several interesting health matters and tips. Our chocolatiers, dieticians and engineers have tried to make it as comprehensive as possible. Do you have any further questions? Please contact us if you do and we will be delighted to help with them.
What is Stevia?
Stevia is short for Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni. It is a small green plant originating from the border area between Paraguay and Brazil. Its leaves contain stevioside, a strong sweetener that is up to 300 times sweeter tasting than ordinary sugar. The plant itself contains rebaudioside A, among other things, which is even sweeter than stevioside and has less of a bitter aftertaste.
Is Stevia safe?
Yes, research shows that sweeteners from Stevia are perfectly safe. Despite 10 years of research into potential downsides in quantities, no adverse effects are known of to date. On the contrary even, health benefits have been demonstrated with intake in higher quantities. These health benefits are believed to be associated with Stevioside.
Benefits of sweeteners from Stevia
- Pure extracts from a natural plant
- Huge sweetening power (300 times sweeter than sugar)
- The taste profile fits very well with cocoa and results in enhanced chocolate taste
- Only small quantities needed
- Frequently tested and found to be 100% safe
- Contains zero calories
- Stable when heated, hence suitable for frying and boiling
Why are we hearing about Stevia only now?
Stevia has actually been used for centuries as a natural sweetener in countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. In Japan for instance Stevia is added to soft drinks as a healthy replacement for aspartame.
Due to the availability and the emergence of cheaper sugar and synthetic sweeteners, the effect of Stevia remained a well-kept secret in Europe.
In view of the socioeconomic importance of these sectors, over the past 10 years the politicians have reviewed the policy on sugar subsidies, resulting in refineries being closed. This has created a gap for Stevia and more specifically its sweeteners.