As we know, Stevia is a 100% natural sweetener from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant, whose active responsible of the sweet taste are Steviol glycosides. Stevia liquid can be prepared directly from the leaf or be made out of the stevioside extract powder.
Uses or applications that can done of this concentrate or extract are many, among them you can:
- Add it to your regular diet, replacing traditional sugar;
- Use it as fibrous feed for animals
- Fertilize your crops, and even obtain fuel
This can be prepared in three different ways:
- Making a Stevia leaf extract with water
- Extract plant leaves with alcohol
- Mixing the powder extract in water
Stevia extracts concentrates are prepared by macerating the leaves in water. Usually the ratio is one to six, that is, one kilo of dry leaves of Stevia for 6 liters of water. It is set-aside for two days, after which, the now pale leaves are strained through a filter, cheesecloth or other fine material into another container, where two more liters of water will be added, than boiled for 20 minutes and left another two days in order to concentrate it even more.
Finally, both resulting liquids are gathered, filtered again and evaporated at low temperature up to 1 liter of concentrated Stevia dark green extract, and this is so sweet that contains approximately 10% of total steviol glycosides.
This mash can be evaporated again and again to achieve even higher concentrations.
The resulting extract obtained from the Stevia is used as a tabletop sweetener and as an additive to sweeten a variety of preparations such as beverages, soft drinks, jams, pastries, sauces, pickles, medicinal products, oral hygiene, chewing gum and candy.
In this way we get a perfectly natural sweetener which is what our health needs, 100% natural and non-caloric, helping us control glucose levels in the blood as well as our weight. Its leaves, as several studies have shown, are more than 300 times sweeter than conventional sugar.
Moreover stevia, compared to artificial sweeteners, has the great advantage of not causing any health problem, providing instead a host of properties. This natural product has been used for centuries by native peoples of Paraguay. It has been the subject of dozens of studies in scientific research around the world, and all of these have concluded that Stevia is completely non-toxic and has no contraindications. It has also been consumed safely in massive quantities (thousands of tons per year) over the past 25 years, mainly in Asian countries like Japan, where 700 tons of Stevia were used only in 1987.