New framework for steviol glycosides
The recently adopted International Stevia Association (ISC) Codex Framework for Steviol Glycosides encompasses four different technologies for the production of stevia. This change is designed to enable greater access to the full range of stevia ingredients to meet demand for new products.
The beverage category continues to be the leading category for new product launches with stevia, while sports nutrition, supplements, dairy, snacks and confectionery are also seeing significant growth. New emerging categories include desserts, ice cream, bakery products and cereals.
The four steviol glycoside production technologies approved by Codex Alimentarius (Codex), the international food standard safety authority, now include stevia leaf extract, steviol glycosides from bioconversion, steviol glycosides from fermentation and glucosylated steviol glycosides.
Over the last five years there have been many advancements in the stevia ingredient space leading to the development of the next generation of steviol glycosides with a reduced bitterness and licorice aftertaste and an increased clean taste similar to the taste of sugar. For example, Reb M and Reb D are found in smaller amounts in the stevia leaf and are claimed to have a better taste.
“ISC was instrumental in getting this new framework approved, which benefits the entire stevia industry,” said 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 fulfil the defined criteria and specifications per technology. 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.”
Consumer demand for stevia continues to grow. Data from Innova shows that global product launches with stevia have increased by 21.9% CAGR over the past 10 years (2011–2021).
There has also been an increase of more than 35% of new product launches with stevia in regions such as Eastern Europe, Australasia, Africa and the Middle East in this same time period.
The adoption by Codex should help open more markets for the use of stevia.
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