The International Stevia Council has announced that new guidelines for stevia production technologies has been released by Codex Alimentarius, the international food standard safety authority. The Framework for Steviol Glycosides will help suppliers get access to a range of stevia ingredients and how to properly process them.
The new framework encompasses four production technologies for the following: stevia leaf extract, steviol glycosides from bioconversion, steviol glycosides from fermentation and glucosylated steviol glycosides. These next-generation ingredients will undergo sustainable production processes that result in a better sensory profile while using smaller amounts of the stevia leaf.
These will feature reduced bitterness and licorice aftertaste, leading to a cleaner taste that will be more similar to regular sugar. They will be healthier alternatives to sugar that can be adopted in a wide range of food and beverage applications.
“ISC was instrumental in getting this new framework approved, which benefits the entire stevia industry,” says Maria Teresa Scardigli, ISC executive director.
“The Framework approach ensures that business operators can put steviol glycosides produced through their various technologies on the market without submitting new dossiers, provided they fulfill the defined criteria and specifications per technology,” said Scardigli. “This is based on the authorities’ review of the production technology, ensuring the highest level of safety, purity and quality is achieved for the final steviol glycoside ingredient put on the market.”
“As we look forward to 2022 and beyond, we are confident that our organization will continue to make strides in terms of our vision and strategic imperatives,” said Scardigli. “Our mission is to improve the diets and health of people globally by addressing sugars and calories in food, to support stevia and steviol glycosides as safe and trusted sweeteners, and to promote its wide variety of uses as a sweetener.”
Consumer demand for stevia is growing as a result of an increasing awareness and interest in healthy food and drinks. Global product launches with stevia increased by 21.9% CAGR from 2011 to 2021, with retail sales in the US alone representing $3.9 billion out of the total industry sales.