The sweetener steviol glycosides, often referred to as “stevia” was approved for use in foods and beverages throughout the EU in November 2011.

It originates in the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, which belongs to the chrysanthemum family and is native to Paraguay.

In a process similar to steeping tea, the dried stevia leaves are soaked in water to unlock the best-tasting, sweet substance found in the leaf, and then it’s purified. Many other natural ingredients are commonly extracted in a similar way, including vanilla, almond, ginger, spearmint, pistachio and cinnamon.

Stevia extracts are usually 200 -300 times sweeter than sugar, but contain virtually no calories.