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German High-Quality Stevia for the whole EU, Norway & Switzerland
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Reduced Prices
Sweet-Switch "Winter Sweets" Gum Candies with stevia and maltitol, 300g
Christmas gummy candys with stevia and maltitol instead of sugar
It-No:    9299
Price:    4.44€ (1.48€/100g)
incl. VAT, excl. shipping
GBP:    £3.75

 
Sweet-Switch Christmas Chocolates, 150g
Belgian Chocolates designed for Christmas, sweetened with steviolglycosides instead of sugar. Cocoa solids: min. 70 percent in dark chocolate, and min. 39 percent in milk chocolate.
It-No:    5993
Price:    4.50€ (3.00€/100g)
incl. VAT, excl. shipping
GBP:    £3.80

 
What is Stevia?
Stevia is a species of plant that originates from Paraguay. It is also known as sweetleaf and sugarleaf. The Guaraní Indians from Paraguay and Brazil have used it as a sweetener and a medicinal herb for hundreds of years.


Source: don Quijote
European people learned about the existence of the plant already in the 16th century, but it took more than three hundred years until a botanist from Switzerland who emigrated to Paraguay tried to analyze it with scientific methods.

The sweetening components of the stevia plant are located in its leaves. The most important components are "stevioside" (up to 18 percent of the leaves) and "rebaudioside A" (up to 4 percent). After they are extracted and purified, they can reach a sweetness that exceeds the sweetness of sugar by as much as 400 times.

After it had been discovered that stevia is not only able to reach an outstanding sweetness but it is also free of calories, the consumption of the plant and its extracts increased in many countries worldwide. This process occured in the last third of the 20th century.

Japan was the cutting-edge country in the international use of stevia. There, the plant has been used for around four decades. The Japanese people use stevia as a component of many cosmetic products, and it is to be found as an ingredient of countless groceries.

However, stevia had to go a bumpy road to success in the United States of America and in the European Union. Although no scientific examination could recognize any harmful effects to the human health, trade barriers were installed. The reason for this was a study which was published by the producer of an artificial sweetener. Since then, that study has been disproved by scientific studies.

While the United States of America withdrew some of the trade barriers over the years, it was still not allowed to sell stevia a food in the European Union. It was only available as a raw material or as a ingredient of cosmetic products.

After an examination that was conducted by a collaboration of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had verified the harmlessness of stevia, it was expected that the European Union will legalize the sale of stevia as a food within a short period of time. France forestalled the decision by the organs of the European Union. There, the use of one component of the stevia plant as a food product was already legalized in the year 2009.

In April 2010, the European Food Safety Authority decided that the use of steviol glycosides below an acceptable daily intake is not a health threat. In July 2011, the Standing Committee on the Food Chain stated the same. In consequence, the European Commission decided in November 2011 to allow the use of steviol glycosides in the food sector starting December 2011.
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