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Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni) is a medicinal herb indigenous to the valley of Rio Monday in North Eastern Paraguay. It has been used as a sweetener for approximately 1500 years in parts of South America and has become a popular sweetener in many Asian countries.

Leaves of the Stevia plant, a perennial herb that grows to 50 to 60 cm in height, have been used to treat diabetes, hypertension and to keep skin looking young. Stevia first came to the attention of Europeans in 1888 when it was discovered in the Paraguay highlands. In the 16th century the conquistadors had reported Stevia to the Spanish, but it remained a mystery until 1889 after the first studies were done by botanist Moises Santigo Bertoni. He "discovered" Stevia after seeing it used by Guarani natives, and his studies showed that Stevia is 200-400 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose) without the negative health effects.

In the early 1900's Stevia was being widely used throughout Paraguay, and had earned the attention of other countries. By 1941 it was being grown in Britain as a sweetener to combat the shortages brought on by the Second World War. In the mid 1950's Japan started growing Stevia, and by the 1970's after extensive studies Japan began marketing it as an alternative to aspartame. Today, health conscious Japan is one of the world's largest users of Stevia. It is used in gum, diet soft drinks and in a large multitude of other products.

Stevia Around the World

In fact, in Japan where aspartame has been banned because of health concerns, Stevia is now widely used as a sweetener in products like gum, soda and ice cream. Stevia is the primary sweetening agent in Japan accounting for approximately 51% of the sweetener market share.

Interestingly, Japan has the highest life expectancy of any country in the world (World Health Organization, 2005). In North America and Europe, the decline of consumers' health and the subsequent movement towards more natural foods has created a great deal of public interest in Stevia.

Why Stevia is not more widely used?

The production cost of Stevia is still exceedingly high compared to sugar and artificial sweeteners. However, given the significant health benefits of Stevia there is little doubt that Stevia and products sweetened with Stevia will gain in popularity. We are dedicated to delivering consumers the benefits of Stevia by:

  1. Working to reduce Stevia production costs.
  2. Developing great taste, healthy and high quality Stevia products, and
  3. Improving the availability and visibility of Stevia in marketing.

Please call us at (88) 01680072195 or contact us for further discussion.