Stevia, what is it?
Today, using the word "Stevia", we refer to both the plants and its components, even though just some of them have sweetening properties. Steviol glycosides are the real sweetening components that are extracted by dessication and purification of Stevia leaves. Among these, Rebaudioside-A is the one with the best sensory profile together with an high sweetening power.
Therefore, Stevia extracts are 100% natural, calorie free and they have zero on the glycemic index. These are the reasons why Stevia is suitable for diabetics and for the current trend towards healthty and natural food. Moreover, Stevia extracts represent the best alternative to sugar. Much research has confirmed the total harmlessness of Stevia towards human health. According to FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and FAO/WHO is suitable for all the family members.
The main characteristics of Stevia are:
- - 100% natural sweetener
- - calorie free
- - low glycemic index, good for diabetics
- - maximum cooking heat: 200°C
- - tooth-friendly: it helps for a better oral health
- - easily soluble, suitable for several food preparation
- - non-fermentative product
- - excellent shelf-life
You can use Stevia, rather than sugar, preparing cakes, jams, drinks and you can cook it up to 200°C. It is sugar free and tooth-friendly, helping for a better oral health. It does not contain allergens and it is gluten free.
Stevioside and Rebaudioside are not metabolized and they are calorie free. If refined, they look like a white powder with a very sweet taste. They are obtained by hydroalcoholic and aqueous extraction with evaporation of the extractive liquid. In the countries where it grows, Stevia is considered one of the best medicinal plants with several properties (hypotensive, antifungal, and hypoglycemic). Therefore, it is used to regulate the glucose index of blood, limit “sweet desire” and appetite, enhance digestion, and prevent dental decay and gum diseases. The leaf is good not just for the organism but also for the skin.