What is Rebaudioside-A?
Rebaudioside A, also known as Reb-A, is a steviol glycoside which, along with steviosides, is found in the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, the so-called sweet herb.
What makes the Stevia plant so sweet?
Together with stevioside, rebaudioside A forms the main component of the sweet ingredients of the Stevia leaf. Depending on the growing region and plant variety, 7-10 steviol glycosides may be present. Other steviol glycosides are found in the leaves of the Stevia plant, but in much lower quantities. These are in detail: Rebaudioside C, Rebaudioside D, Rebaudioside E, Rebaudioside F, Rebaudioside M, Dulcoside A and Rubusoside.
The positive sensory properties of rebaudioside A are particularly noteworthy. Unlike stevioside, rebaudioside-A has no bitter aftertaste. It has the purest and sweetest taste of all steviol glycosides. Stevia products with a purity of Rebaudioside-A 98% currently represent the highest possible concentration of Rebaudioside A and are of high quality.
As the sweetening power of rebaudioside-A exceeds that of sugar many times over, the sweetener should be dosed extremely sparingly. In its native Paraguay, the Stevia plant is also called honey herb or sweet herb because of its sweetening power.
What makes the sugar substitute Stevia so popular as a sweetener?
- Stevia extracts Rebaudiosid-A are sweeteners of natural, plant origin.
- Stevia is up to 450 times sweeter than sugar
- Stevia has no effect on blood sugar levels and is also suitable for diabetics
- Stevia is a calorie-free sweetener
- Stevia can be heated up to 200°C and is suitable for baking and cooking
- Stevia does not promote tooth decay
Approval of the sugar substitute Stevia in Europe
Since December 2011, there is the new sweetener Stevia approved in the EU. "Regulation on the authorisation of steviol glycosides as sweeteners" (Regulation (EU) No 1131/2011). A large number of foods & drinks, sweets, chocolates and ketchup are already sweetened with the sugar substitute Stevia. You can see this in the list of ingredients of the products. The addition of steviol glycosides or under the designation "E 960" in the list of ingredients indicates the use of Stevia as a sweetener.
On the website of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) you will find further interesting information as well as a scientific opinion on the metabolism of Stevia as a food additive and the safety of steviol glycosides: (EFSA Journal 2010;8(4):1537).
Be careful when buying Stevia products!
Not all Stevia is the same! The best Stevia products contain pure rebaudioside-A. Stevia products with no indication of purity or steviol glycoside content may also have an unpleasant taste of their own.
Pure Stevia Extract in best quality with a Rebaudioside-A content of 98% can you buy here: Pure Highly Concentrated Stevia Extract - Rebaudioside-A 98%.