What is Stevia? Stevia is a plant based, zero-calorie, sustainably grown sweetener. More specifically, high purity stevia leaf extracts are used as a sweetening ingredient in foods and beverages in over 65 countries and counting around the world. High purity stevia leaf extracts, chemically known as steviol glycosides, are safe for human consumption, as shown by a compendium of over 200 scientific studies on stevia, including metabolic and pharmacokinetic studies.
Multiple major regulatory agencies around the world have concluded that high purity stevia leaf extract is safe for use as a sweetener for human consumption, including special populations. In 2008 and 2009, the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a global panel of food ingredient safety experts, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated the use of high purity steviol glycosides (≥95%) is safe for human consumption, with an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) expressed in steviol equivalents of up to 4 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. In 2011, the European Commission authorized the use of high purity steviol glycosides (≥95%) in foods and beverages across the European Union.
Though not exhaustive, below are links to key multiple global regulatory agencies that have approved the use of high purity stevia extracts:
- Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (AFSSA, or French Agency for Food Safety)
- Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)
- European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
- European Commission
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
- Health Canada
- Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Note regulatory approval specifications may vary from country to country.