Stevita Fruit Flavored Stevita Drink Mix Sticks (10x6g) Strawberry - Packet(s)
Stevita Fruit Flavored Stevita Drink Mix Sticks Strawberry are available in boxes with 10 individual stick packets (on-the-go packets) pre-measured for a 16 oz. glass or bottle of water.Stevita uses only natural flavors and natural colors to be added to their at least 95% pure Stevita stevia crystal . Also comes in Lime, Orange and Cherry flavors. With no calories, no carbs and zero glycemic, they are delicious healthy alternatives. Just add to water or any other liquid and enjoy!
- No Sugar
- No Artificial Ingredients
- No Trans Fat
- No Allergens
- No Soy
- No Gluten
Stevia Production around the World
The stevia plant currently is commercially cultivated primarily in Brazil, Paraguay, Japan and China. China is by far the biggest crude and refined extract exporter , with more than 95% share, to the US market where it is repacked by local importers. At this time there is no commercially produced stevia extract of USA origin.
How is Stevia pronounced?
This plant was first discovered by Spanish explorers in the 16th century while looking for gold in the areas between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.. The correct pronunciation in Spanish is “Ste-vee-a”. The Americanized pronunciation is Stee-vee-a.
What is stevia?
Among the many plants of the Compositae family, the Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni is the only one that produces intensively sweet tasting substances called “steviol glycosides”. The Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni is a perennial plant that can reach 4 ft tall and is native of the highlands of central southeast South America covering portions of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. For centuries the Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni has been used by the local natives and first settlers of the area, as a traditional medicine for diabetics and also as a source of sweetener for their drinks and teas.
What types of stevia can I find in the market?
- Pure Extract – extremely sweet thus very hard to use. If it has a fruity taste, it is more likely that has an additive. Also, if produced by enzymes – the final product is something else other than stevia extract
- Pure Extract Diluted with Bulking Agents – some leading brands use dextrose, which is a sugar product thus presenting a potential health problem for diabetics. Other bulking agents used are FOS ( fructo-oligo-sacharide), erythritol, xylitol, maltodextrine, lactose or combination of the previous ingredients. Also, some brands use “Natural Flavors” in addition to the bulking agents to “mask” the unpleasant flavor of their stevia products
- Pure Extract Diluted with Water\Pure Extract Diluted with Water Plus Natural Flavors
- Pure Extract in Powder Form Blended with Other Ingredients and Natural Flavors – this type is used as a drink mix
What is Glucosyl stevia?
This is a EM (Enzymatically Modified) product where stevia extract is produced in a reaction with 80 % steviol-glycosides( the sweet crystals of the stevia leaves) , glucose and enzymes. The yellowish/white color and the fruity or honey taste of the final product is due to the glucose and enzymes used in the extraction process. Some manufacturers label this product as “pure” stevia. Stevita is a non-EM product.
With the banning of existing artificial sweeteners in Japan in the early 70's, the Japanese food industry started importing stevia leaves from Brazil. The leaves, using an extraction process, were turned into a crystal form to be used as an intensive sweetener.
In the early 80's a group of farmers in the state of Parana, Brazil, joined together and formed a cooperative to grow and export stevia leaves to Japan. In the mid 80's with the participation of local investors, it turned into an enterprise with the objective to farm, harvest the Stevia plant, extract the crystals from the leaves and export the extract to Japan.
In 1987, the extraction factory was completed and in 1988 the Stevita Stevia brand was introduced in the Brazilian market as a table top sweetener.
When Stevita was Banned by the FDA
In 1988, Oscar Rodes, the President and founder of Stevita Co. Inc., introduced to the U.S. market the pure stevia extract (Steviol-glycosides) and teas sweetened with ground stevia leaves, harvested and extracted in Brazil. Even though stevia should logically be classified as a GRAS substance ( a natural product in use prior to 1958 by a large population without any report of adverse health effect) and automatically safe as a food ingredient, the FDA did not agree with this classification and in 1991, with a court order, directed U.S. Marshalls to Oscar Rodes’ warehouse in Texas to confiscate and burn all of the inventory of teas sweetened with stevia. A few months later the FDA issued an order to ban the importation of all stevia products into the U.S. market.
After Congress passed the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) which allowed stevia products to be imported and sold as dietary supplements, Oscar Rodes attempted to reintroduce the pure stevia extract in the US market in 1996, properly labeled as a dietary supplement. with the trade name “SteviaSweet”. However, on the very first shipment , FDA customs inspectors detained the entire shipment because the word “sweet” was in the trade name. According to the inspectors , the word “sweet” rendered the product “adulterated” thus unfit for human consumption. Later on, Oscar reintroduced the same product in the US market, properly relabeled as dietary supplement, with the “Stevita” brand which has been used in Brazil since 1988.
In late 1997, FDA agents inspected Stevita’s warehouse in Arlington and subsequently issued “warning letters”. The main issue was that Stevita Co. was selling third parties books about stevia. Some of the books mentioned the history, chemistry, and uses of stevia around the world, and that the primary use of stevia in some countries was as a sweetener. According to FDA’s interpretation, these books rendered all the stevia products in Stevita Co’s warehouse as adulterated because stevia was not approved as a sweetener. Stevita Co’s attorneys contested this interpretation with FDA officials , but during this time of dispute FDA agents were confiscating all Stevita’s stevia shipments.Finally, on May 1998, with his stevia inventory almost depleted, it ws decided to make a deal with FDA by promising to stop selling the books in exchange for the release of his inventory by the FDA, so that Stevita could continue in business. On May 19th, Oscar received a fax from FDA ordering him to destroy all books and other literature that described stevia as a sweetener. Also, Oscar was ordered to recall all the books he had sold and destroy them. He refused to destroy the books – he had agreed to stop selling but not destroy them – and the dispute continued with Stevita Co. The company came very close to closing because of the lack of inventory. Finally, thanks to intervention by the press and assistance from some members of Congress, on June 29, the FDA advised Stevita Co’s attorney that it could continue selling the books with the exception of a cookbook which named Stevita stevia as one ingredient in some of the recipes.
Stevita History Through the Last 23 Years
1983 – Stevia farmers in the state of Parana in southern Brazil form a cooperative to farm the stevia plant and export its leaves to Japan.
1986 – Inga Stevia Industrial (the maker of Stevita stevia) was created and in the same year started the construction of an extraction factory that would use locally developed technology to extract the sweet crystals from the leaves of the stevia plant.
1988 – The Stevita brand was introduced in the Brazilian market, packaged in individual sachets, as a table top sweetener. During the same year, Oscar Rodes, one of the representatives of Inga Industrial introduced the Stevita crystals into the US market as a GRAS (generally regarded as safe) food substance because of the proven record of safe human consumption over centuries in South America. FDA denied approval of the GRAS petition and Stevita had to be removed from the market.
1990 – Inga Stevia Industrial changes its name to Steviafarma S.A.
1994 – US Congress passes the DSHEA act, thus allowing stevia to be sold in the country but only as a “dietary supplement”.
1995 – Oscar Rodes started selling Stevita’s pure crystals (Steviol- glycosides ) to the food industry in the USA.
1996 – Stevita Co. Inc. is formed in the USA and makes the first importation of Stevita products labeled as a dietary supplement to be sold directly to local consumers.
1997 – Various inspections by FDA agents during the year forced Stevita Co. to remove from advertising material, labels, web pages, any and all content that referred to Stevia as sweet.
1998 — During one of the FDA inspections in the year, Stevita Co. was ordered to destroy (burn) books about stevia that the company was selling along with the stevia products.
2009 – With the approval of the Steviol-Glycosides (95%) and Rebaudioside 97% by the FDA, Stevita has relabeled its products to comply with the new regulations and is now allowed to market Stevita as a natural sweetener just as it has always been sold in the Brazilian market since 1988!