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Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) is a plant that was first cultivated in the regions of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Today it is grown not only in South America but also in Africa and Asia.

The people of Paraguay and Brazil have used since centuries the sweet leafs as a natural sweetener and the Guarani Indians of Paraguay in their own language they call it "Kaa-hee," in English "sweetleaf".

Botanist Moises Santiago Bertoni was the first who described stevia in 1888. The chemist Dr. Rebaudi first analyzed the steviol glycoside Rebaudioside A and stevioside -the ingredients of Stevia can be found in the leaves, stems, flowers, seeds and roots and are responsible for the sweet taste.

The sweetening power of different steviol glycosides varies; stevioside is 250-300-times sweeter compared to sucrose; rebaudioside B - 300-350-times, rebaudiside C - 50-120-times, rebaudioside D - 25-400-times, rebaudioside E-150-300-times, rebusoside - 114-times, steviolbioside - 100-125-times and dulkoside A- 50-120-times. The greatest sweetness has rebaudiana A 300-450-times compared with sugar.

Steviol glycosides are natural sweeteners that are characterized by good taste and harmlessness from health point of view.

Stevia for food and other products is exclusively grown on plantations. The leaves are normally harvested three times a year. The best results of the cultivation are achieved in warm and moist areas.

In Japan stevia sweeteners are commonly used since more than 30 years. Since that time there is no information about possible adverse effects or reactions when using stevia. Stevia is used there for the production by candy, drinks, ice and other food.

The sweetest parts of the plant are the leaves of which the stevia extract is extracted to produce pure, natural sweetener without calories. Stevia is a natural product, which can replace in the food without unhealthy, artificial sweeteners.

Studies all over the whole world have shown that stevia has a wide spectrum cheers for the health and with extensive importance for the medicine. The plant has no calories and is at the same time rich in nutrients. But more important is the possible consumption of the stalk by sick people with diabetes and phenylketonurie.

In the opinion of scientists stevia does not raise the blood sugar level and may be eaten by diabetics. The Paraguayans also eat the stalk to the treatment of obesity and high blood pressure.

Stevia promotes the digestion and the weight decrease by the reduction of the appetite for fat dishes and above all on sweets. In contrast to the sugar it leads in the bowel not to fermentation.

In addition, it contains proteins, fat materials, an extensive assortment in valuable minerals and trace elements like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, chrome, manganese, selenium, silicon, cobalt and zinc.

It also includes a number of B vitamins, vitamin C, beta-carotene, etc.

Stevia also has antibacterial and antifungal qualities and it could be proved that the growth and the increase of bacteria responsible for gums illnesses and caries is restrained: by concentrated addition of stevia to the toothpaste or with diluted use in the water to the oral rinse a clear improvement of the health of the oral cavity appeared.

The other advantages of the plant are its resistance to high temperatures without decomposition up to temperatures of 200 ° C, which means: it can be used for cooking and baking. Stevia is not subject to the processes of fermentation and can be stored for long periods. Further it is soluble in water and alcohols.

Stevia is also used to create masks that improve the appearance of the skin and help prevent wrinkles. There is also a perfect alternative for people who want to keep a slim figure, without at the same time to refrain from sweetened tea or coffee.

In November 2011 STEVIA (steviol glycoside) was approved as a food additive according to REGULATION (EC) No. 1131/2011 of 11 November 2011 for the amendment of Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and Council concerning steviol glycosides. Stevia has been included under the code E960 in the "Codex Alimentarius" and may be used in foods as a substitute for sugar and sweeteners.

Analysis reports DHB STEWIA SN (PDF)
Analysis reports DHB STEWIA SP (PDF)
Analysis reports DHB STEWIA EXTRACT (PDF)