<% option explicit dim path path="../" %> Stevia Rebaudiana - the taste (stevia page 3)


Stevia the taste

Along these same lines, it may be that the use of whole leaf is an easier way to obtain better taste than through efforts aimed at trying to improve the taste of certain specific constituents. It is surprising, therefore, to see how much research has gone into attempting to improve the taste of individual steviosides or rebaudiosides. Since the white crystaline powder exhibits a quite persistent bitter and astringent aftertaste, cites use as a commercial sweetener often backfires. Thus, most manufacturers who use the isolated constituents of stevia usually have to combine it with other kinds of typical sugars! Since rebaudiosides taste better, methods are constantly being sought to synthetically convert steviosides to rebaudiosides. But even the rabaudiosides must be combined with other kinds of sugars to obtain necessary sweetness. Finally , in the ultimate irony, there are processes currently under development for improving the taste of stevioside by combining it in various ways with other substances obtained directly from stevia!8-9 It is the opinion of this author that most, if not all, of these convoluted attempts to improve the taste of single constituents could be satisfactorily avoided simply by using WHOLE LEAF, or whole leaf EXTRACT, the way nature intended stevia to be used. In the final analysis, pure stevioside is attractive to manufacturers mainly because of the higher profits to be achieved from using a purified, therefore patentable, material.

Stevia for your tea

In this country, where use of whole leaf is the only possible mode of administration, consumers have developed some rather sophisticated applications, especially in the medicinal area (see next section). In the area of combining with other foods, one can also find some useful aplications. Stevia is appropriate for use in conjunction with a variety of other herbal teas. One can mimic the South American practice of combining stevia with yerba mate, lapacho, and other native herbs, or one can experiment with stevia in altering the taste parameters of any number of traditional teas.

"We are intrigued by the honeyleaf sweetener . . . and started to use it in our breadmaking to test it for our diabetic customers. We were so pleased with the results and the improvement in the texture and softness, that we have continued to use it on a regular basis in our bread and so have all of our customers, diabetic or not."

Page 4 Bitter Veins