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What is Stevia?

Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) is a South American plant native to Paraguay that traditionally has been used to sweeten beverages and make tea. The word "stevia" refers to the entire plant and its components, only some of which are sweet. The sweet tasting components of the stevia plant are called steviol glycosides. Steviol glycosides can be isolated and purified from the leaves of the stevia plant and are now added to some foods, beverages and tabletop sweeteners in the U.S. and elsewhere.

While the word "stevia" actually refers to the entire plant, for the purposes of this web site, the term "stevia sweeteners" will be used to refer to steviol glycosides which are the sweet components isolated and purified from stevia leaves. Listed here is an inventory of stevia sweeteners. Check out the new Stevia Brochure (pdf). For more information about stevia and free CPE credits, check out this handout.

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