Food News You Can Use: Stevia

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Screen shot 2012 11 07 at 3.13.58 PM Food News You Can Use: Stevia

The Food and Drug Administration has declared a natural zero-calorie sweetener rebaudioside A, or Reb A, which is the sweetest part of the stevia leaf, safe for use in foods and beverages. You can read more about the sweeteners, Truvia and Purevia here: Coke will introduce a reduced-calorie version of Sprite, called Sprite Green, and some Odwalla juice drinks with the new Truvia this month. Pepsi will launch three flavors of a zero-calorie SoBe Lifewater and an orange-juice drink called Trop50 Cargill, which is marketing the sweetener Truvia from Coca-Cola, received notification from the FDA that it had no objection to the product, calling it “generally recognized as safe.” PepsiCo said it also had received a similar letter and the same “generally recognized as safe” designation for its sweetener, PureVia. We asked Dr. Kenney what he thought and he answered, “Stevia seems to be pretty safe but its taste is a concern. I tried it once probably 15 years ago and recall it wasn't very good. I believe it had a licorice-like after taste and the sweetness was not nearly as good as Splenda. Coke and Pepsi are probably using it to try to appeal to the health food fanatics that assume that natural means safe and so fear Splenda, Equal, etc. because they are man made.” According to the site, an extensive library of more than 85 studies exist for Reb A and other components of the stevia plant support Reb A’s use in tabletop sweeteners and other products. Additionally, the other ingredients, which provide the bulk of PureVia, are also safe for this use. The Center for Science in the Public Interest questions the safety of the stevia derivative here: new/200812152.html

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