Stevia has achieved global importance today. It is now used by industries making food products as additives and as sweeteners. It can also be used in making some medicinal products. Walk into many stores selling food products today and you will discover that the only additive in such food products is stevia. Excess sugar can have some negative impact on health. Other additives too can be carcinogenic. The emergence of stevia and its hazard- free state then makes it the product of choice as a sweetener. The product does not have any known side effect. You can use it conveniently without the fear of ending up with diabetes or other health issues. Its popularity is now noticeable in many countries of the world. Some of the countries are Japan, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Israel, Russia, Paraguay, Mexico and several other countries.
Its use as sweetener
Stevia is used as stevia mainly in some countries and it is used as dietary supplements in some other countries. In Russia, it has found a wide used as a sweetener. It was approved in 2008 but under a strict condition that it should be added minimally to food products. In Singapore, one of the components of stevia, steviol glycoside is used as sweetener in food products. Initially, the use of stevia was banned. But the case was revisited in 2005. This separate extract is presumed not to have any side effect on health.
Its use as food additive
In Paraguay, stevia is made in liquid form and it is widely used in place of sugar. It is added to herbal tea mate as additive. It had been used for this purpose for centuries. Mexico does not bother to extract any particular component of the stevia plant. Instead, a mixed extract is used as additive and sweetener. Israel started using stevia as a additive in 2012. Hong Kong started its usage in 2010. Brazil had been using the extract as an additive since 1986. Mixed stevia extract is used in both New Zealand and Australia. The use started in 2008.
Its use as dietary supplement
Some countries of the world do not use stevia as a sweetener or additive in general food products. They restrict its usage only as dietary supplements. In United States for example, the plant is only used as additive in dietary supplements. Some of the extracts used are rebaudioside A and the stevia leaf.