Stevia molecules unchanged by processing: research


Tuesday, 01 November, 2016


Stevia molecules unchanged by processing: research

A research study has supported stevia’s claim to naturality, finding that all the plant’s sweet molecules remain unchanged throughout the stages of processing.

The study found all nine of the steviol glycoside molecules required by the specifications set by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a committee jointly administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO), were present and unchanged in dried stevia leaf, through the commercial extraction and purification process and in the final stevia leaf extract product.

The research found that the stevia leaf extract end products were of 95% purity, which is required by JECFA. The study used analytical techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in combination with C18 and/or hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) columns to separate, identify and quantify the individual steviol glycoside molecules.

“Finding the same nine steviol glycoside molecules unchanged in the stevia leaf, the water extract and in the final product confirms that the commercial extraction and purification process of high-purity stevia leaf extract does not alter the sweet steviol glycoside molecules in the leaf,” said Dr Ursula Wölwer-Rieck, the scientist at the University of Bonn, Germany, who conducted the research.

Image caption: A stevia plant grows in a field in Kenya. (PRNewsFoto/The Global Stevia Institute)

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