Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is a herb commonly known as ‘sweet leaf’, and it originated in the subtropical and tropical regions of America.
Today, it is one of the most commonly cultivated herbs, because of its wide use. This calorie-free herb has negligible effect on the blood glucose and it is especially used in the low-carb diet regimens.
The leaves are 30-45 times sweeter than sucrose according to the measuring units, and they can be consumed fresh or combined with tea or food.
The glycosides give its sweet taste, which are separate compounds obtained during the extraction process. These compounds are 250-300 times sweeter than regular sugar. Glycosides are molecules that contain glucose and other substances called aglycones.
Taste receptors respond to glycosides, and those that contain more glucose (rebaudioside) are sweeter than those that contain less (stevioside). In the digestive tract the rebaudiosides are metabolized into steviosides, and these are transformed into glucose and steviol.
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