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About Stevia

Stevia is a natural, calorie-free sweetening ingredient that has been used to sweeten foods and beverages for hundreds of years in many parts of the world. Stevia’s great taste is a delicious way to naturally reduce sugars and calories as part of a healthful diet.

Stevia Rebaudiana is an herb in the Chrysanthemum family which grows wild as a small shrub in parts of Paraguay and Brazil. The glycosides in its leaves, including up to 10% Stevioside, account for its incredible sweetness, making it unique among the nearly 300 species of Stevia plants. There are indications that Stevia (or Ca-he-he) has been used to sweeten a native beverage called mate since Pre-Columbian times. However, a Natural Scientist names Antonio Bertoni first recorded its usage by native tribes in 1887.


Stevia is a plant native to South America that has been used for centuries as a sweet herb. Traditionally, the plant leaves were dried and used to sweeten maté, teas and medicines, or simply chewed as a sweet treat.

The plant was first scientifically recorded in 1899 as Eupatorium rebaudianum by Moises Santiago de Bertoni, in Paraguay. In 1905, it was later defined as Stevia Rebaudiana, a member of the sunflower (Compositae) family.

Stevia was first commercially adopted by Japan in the 1970s and the country continues to be the largest and most diverse user of stevia in the world.


The Stevia plant genus includes over 100 species, but the species with the sweetest leaves is Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni Stevia is cultivated throughout the world, but most significantly in China, Paraguay, Colombia, India, Kenya, and Brazil, with development expanding into the United States, Vietnam and other countries.

Stevia is known as a hardy, healthy plant, and is often a profitable crop for small, independent farming communities. Depending on the region, it may be harvested several times per year and requires little farm acreage.

Stevia Extract

Stevia leaves contain natural sweet compounds called steviol glycosides that give the plant its sweet taste. These sweet compounds are released by steeping stevia leaves in water, like tea. The extract is then filtered and purified to remove non-sweet plant matter and concentrate the stevia extract. Read more on how stevia extract is made. Purified stevia extract can contain just one steviol glycoside or several. Rebaudioside A, also known as Reb A, is a popular steviol glycoside, due to its great tasting sweetness and abundance in the stevia leaf.

Stevia extract is not chemically modified during the purification process and its steviol glycosides are the same as those found in the leaf. High purity stevia contains 95% or more steviol glycosides and has a more-sugar like taste than crude stevia extracts.

Stevia in Foods & Beverages

Stevia can be found in hundreds of food and beverage products around the world, including teas, soft drinks, juices, waters, flavored milks, yogurts, baked goods, cereals, salad dressings, sauces, confections, and as well as table top sweetener.

Stevia & Health

Stevia is a no-calorie natural sweetening ingredient for the whole family. Stevia can reduce sugar and calories in foods and beverages by partially or completely replacing sugar and other caloric sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. Stevia plays an important role in making people’s diets more healthful naturally. It supports healthful diets by reducing added sugars as currently urged by global nutrition and public health experts.

Stevia is calorie free and contains no carbohydrates, making it a safe choice for children and adults with diabetes. Stevia is also tooth friendly and may prevent cavities by inhibiting the development of plaque.