Stevia-based Sweetener Truvia Gets FDA Nod

December 2008 saw official approval by the FDA for Cargill’s Truvia, a stevia based sweetener. Experts had been predicting that the last month of the year would see FDA approval for the stevia based product, boosting the market for these herbal sweeteners significantly.

Zero calorie sweeteners are big business and a few of the earliest players have quickly garnered a corner of the market. These mainly tend to be Aspartame based sweeteners, like Sweet N low and NutraSweet which have been approved by the FDA for decades now. However, aspartame-based sweeteners have been linked to several health concerns, and consumers have been vary of mixing these into their coffee and tea.

Enter stevia – a substance found naturally in the stevia plant that is native to several parts of South America, including Peru. The natives of these lands have used stevia leaves as a natural sweetener for hundreds of years. It was only in the past few decades that the leaves of the plant that are up to 300 times sweeter than sugarcane, were brought to the attention of the western world.

Stevia-Based Truvia - All Natural Sweetener

Companies quickly began processing the leaves, and developed a zero calorie all natural sweetener for use by the consumer. For years now, stevia has been marketed as a dietary supplement in the US, but did not receive FDA approval to be used as a table top sweetener. In countries outside of the US however, stevia based sweetener s are freely available as sugar substitutes.

The green light given to Cargill’s Truvia by the FDA gives a major boost to the company’s ambitions in the zero-calorie sweetener market. The company received an official FDA communiqué that the agency found no objection to research that proved that Rebaudioside A which is a scientific name for the stevia extract, is recognized as safe.

Needless to say Cargill is extremely excited about the go ahead given to Truvia by the FDA. The company has lost no time promoting the sweetener assuring customers that only the highest quality of stevia leaves go into the making of Truvia. The stevia plant has more than 200 varieties, and the quality of the product can depend on the extracted sweet compound that the leaves yield.

Not to be left behind, PepsiCo has produced its own brand of stevia based sweeteners called PureVia. The company has collaborated with Merisant to introduce PureVia which was also approved by the FDA in December.

Now with FDA approved stevia available in stores, consumers will be able to substitute a stevia-based sweetener like Truvia for table sugar in desserts and drinks. So far, there is little mention of any health risks connected to stevia, but the general feeling is that anything that comes from a plant must be better than artificial sugar substitutes that contain chemicals, which is bound to be sweet news for companies marketing these products.


7 Responses to “Stevia-based Sweetener Truvia Gets FDA Nod”

  1. Jones Brooks on April 6th, 2009 11:51 am

    I am so glad that the companys that you list are looking at stevia as an alternative to the other stuff. I have been a user of stevia for quite awhile now and have tried to avoid splenda and the other sweetners. I think it is time that the FDA approve something that is not harmful for a change, but as you stated anything in excess can be harmful. I just appreciate the naturalness of stevia as a alternative sweetner, and don’t forget about agave.

  2. vanessa Pytlewski on April 22nd, 2009 10:18 am

    Sweet N Low is saccharin not Aspartame. The world of deadly sweeteners is scary enough without you confusing things more.

  3. PureVia vs. Truvia « Preventionrd's Blog on January 8th, 2010 5:46 pm

    [...] Clears Use of Herb as Sweetener. The Wall Street Journal. December 18, 2008. [2]. Stevia-based Sweetener Truvia Gets FDA Nod. Stevia Cafe. [3]. PureVia website. [4]. Truvia [...]

  4. Anne Michaelson on September 9th, 2010 5:21 am

    I thought Stevia, being plant based, was the safest
    sugar substitute in the world. Now I read that, as
    in other sugar subs, large amounts given to animals Can cause problems. So I hope there are on
    going studies with humans so we’ll know exactly how safe it is.

  5. Cyndi on January 18th, 2011 11:09 am

    Splenda was touted as a safe ” natural sugar substitute ” made from sugar but no calories. Now everyone says its bad for your health. Sugar is made from a plant so shouldn’t Splenda be as safe as sugar. Why is everyone so certain Stevia is safe? From what I have been reading you guys think all sugar substitutes are dangerous. Come on people, there are many more things out there that we all consume or breathe that are far worse. Bottled water absorbs the chemicals of the plastic when exposed to heat but I see people walking around drinking them. I don’t drink bottled water because it produces an unnecessary waste, plastic containers. We should be more worried about the air quality of our planet than a non calorie sweetener that hundreds of thousands of people use everyday with out dropping dead. Quit being alarmists and just live our lives one glorious day at a time because it could end at any time. Then would it really matter if you used nutrasweet for the last ten years if it was a car hitting you that caused your death not the nutrasweet or what ever sugar substitute you used. Don’t you have better & more useful things to do with your lives than trying to scare the Diabetic community.They depend on these products to live a some what normal life.

  6. Kate on June 26th, 2012 9:49 am

    Too much of many things is not good for you (“White sugar makes you rot”). Sweet things as well as other foods, running, etc. etc.
    I appreciate the conversation and theeyeopening , reality statements.
    I’d rather eat white sugar that the additives and chemicals.
    I’d like to know more about agave!
    Be well! I have a powerful sweet tooth and it’s bad for my “flora”.

  7. Kate on June 26th, 2012 9:55 am

    p.s. I read that Splenda, Truvia
    and forms of Stevia based seweeteners have tainted chemicals, so I bought Purvia.I’m waiting for more information.

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