FSSAI approve stevia ( steviol ) for use in selected products
FSSAI approve Stevia Biotech Pvt. Ltd, Coca Cola and Cargill application for use of stevia in soft drink concentrates, chewing gums, carbonated water and other applied products.
"It is an very interesting development, at last all our sincere efforts since 2005 get paid and finely, FSSAI, Food Safety Regulatory Body has communicated to us allowing stevia, natural alternative for soft drink concentrates, chewing gums and other products as we seek for approval in our application" said CMD of Stevia Biotech Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, who also heads ‘India Stevia Association'.
A scientific panel for food additives at the apex Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the regulatory body which makes rules for food safety, has also recommended certain guideline, allowing stevia, a natural sweetener for use in selected products with ADI limits.
The FSSAI scientific panel has recommended up to 200 milligrams per kg of steviol equivalent, which is an active component in stevia, in carbonated water and soft drink concentrates. In chewing gums up to 3,500 milligrams per kg of steviol equivalent.
The additive this year was approved by CODEX Alimentarius, an international body created by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation, for usage across different product forms.
Stevia Biotech Pvt. Ltd. based in New Delhi, applied to then PFA ( food regulators ) as early as in year 2005 for approval, is now going for large scale cultivation on contractual bases and will be putting a processing unit of Stevia in India.
Certain recommendations by FSSAI's scientific panel for food additives do not explicitly state whether stevia can be used in combination with another additive.
'If stevia is allowed to be used in combination with low-intense sweeteners, it could go a long way in helping manufacturers replace high-intense, synthesied sweeteners, which are said to have adverse effects in case of high usage' .. say Mr. Sourabh Agarwal
Globally, Stevia is fully approved as a food additive in a number of countries, including the US, China, Japan, Mexico, France, Paraguay, Korea, Brazil, Israel, Malaysia and Taiwan. In Japan it accounts for over 40 per cent of the sweetener market there. The European Union is on track to clear stevia for use by the end of this year.