Stevia
1293198317Stevia_Rebaudiana_Powder_Ex.jpg Stevia can be used in sugar free sweetener product, calorie free diet , travel tea dip bags, Ice-cream, juices, cold drinks, soft drinks, Cakes, tooth pest, sweets for diabetic patients, Ayurvedic medicines, Dietary supplement products industry. Over all we can replace the normal sugar and chemical sweetener by Stevioside white powder.
 





Species-             
Stevia Rebaudiana (Bertoni) Hemsl. 
                            Eupatorium     
                            Rebaudiana

Family-               Asteraceae

English name-     Stevia

INTRODUCTION:

The Stevia rebaudiana is commonly known as sweet leaf, sugar leaf, or simply Stevia. This is widely grown for its sweet leaves. Stevia belong to asteraceae family. The sweet herb Stevia is becoming a major source of natural sweetener as an alternate of sugar. It is rapidly replacing the chemical sweetener like Splenda, Saccharine and Aspartame.

The plant is native to tropical and subtropical regions of North America and South America. There are near about 240 species of Stevia Genus. It is grown widely in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay and Venezuela. In Venezuela it is being used over 1500 years.

Stevia leaves are 30 times sweeter than normal sugar. The extract of stevia Rebaudioside-A is around 300-400 times sweeter than normal sugar. The sweetness of stevia also felt for long time.

There are two compounds in stevia leaves 1.) Stevioside(10%-20%) and 2.) Rebaudioside-A(1-3%). The Stevioside is stable at 100 °C this is main advantage of Steviocide over other sweetener.

Today stevia is ready to become King in the market of sweetener. As demand of low carbohydrate sweetener is rising day by day.

A good market is being developed for stevia domestically as well as internationally. This is a ray of hope for the diabetic patient. As it is natural source of sweetener. It is also used for the treatment of obesity and high blood sugar patient. There is not increase in sugar level after consumption of stevia as sweetener as substitute of normal sugar.

Stevia, therefor, opens up new avenues for crop diversification and a viable alternative to sugarcane. There is a potential to use Stevia in soft drinks, confectionery and bakery etc. Instead of sweeteners with known adverse side effects in the long run. Stevia prevents tooth decay with its microbial property . Majority of the supplementary food products for diabetic patients emphasize on the fibre & protein content the addition of the Stevia leaves, dried or in powder form, in such products would not only aid in increasing the natural sweetness but would also help in rejuvenating the pancreatic gland.

Apart from this, Stevia is nutrient rich, containing substantial amount of Protein, Magnesium, Miocene, riboflavin, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Calcium & Phosphorus, Besides Stevia can also be used as a house hold sweetener in preparation of most Indian sweetmeats.

There are different views about stevia in different countries. Countries like Japan and Korea; it is widely used as sweetener. In some countries use of stevia is banned. Initially US govt banned stevia but in year 2008 the extract of stevia Rebaudioside-A was approved as food additive. Today the number of countries is increasing where stevia is available

Stevia crop has good potential in India. There is low risk in this crop. The investment in stevia is also tax free as it is agriculture production. The return also starts to come early. As it is planted for five years so the cost of plantation also accrue one time in five in 5 years. There is high potential of return as compared to traditional crop.

 

THE PRINCIPAL ADVANTAGES OF STEVIA ARE AS FOLLOWING

1. It is a completely natural non-synthetic product; Stevioside (the sweetener) contains absolutely no calories

 2. The leaves can be used in their natural state

 

3. Thanks to its enormous sweetening power, only small quantities need to be used

 

4. The plant is non-toxic

 

 5. The leaves as well as the pure stevioside extract can be cooked

 

6. No aftertaste or bitterness

 

 7. Stable when heated up to 200 degrees

 

8. Non-fermentative

 

 9. Flavour enhancing

 

10. Clinically tested and frequently used by humans without negative effect

 

11. Ideal and non-addictive sweetener for children USES

• Stevia is safe for diabetics, as it does, not affect blood sugar levels. • Stevia does not have the neurological or renal side effects of some of the artificial sweeteners. • Stevia possess anti-fungal and anti-bacterial property also in addition to its other versatile uses. It can be safely used in herbal medicines, tonics for diabetic patients and also in the daily usage products like mouthwashes, and tooth pastes. • Mild Stevia leaf tea offers excellent relief for an upset stomach.





OTHER USE OF STEVIA:-

Stevia is available in many forms. The choice is totally dependent amount of sweetness we want. The fresh leaves are least sweet and the extracted white powder is the sweetest.

FRESH STEVIA LEAVES

This form of stevia is the herb in its most natural, unrefined state. A leaf picked from a stevia plant and chewed will impart an extremely sweet taste sensation reminiscent of licorice that lasts for quite a while.

For stevia to have a more practical application as a tea or sweetener, the leaves must be dried or put through an extraction process, which makes the sweet taste even more potent.

DRIED LEAVES

For more of the flavor and sweet constituents of the stevia leaf to be released, drying and crushing is necessary. A dried leaf is considerably sweeter than a fresh one, and is the form of stevia used in brewing herbal tea.Dried stevia leaf may come in bulk or packaged like tea bags. You can also get it finely powdered. It has a greenish color and can be used in a wide variety of foods and beverages, including coffee, applesauce and hot cereals. You also can use it to make an herbal tea blend. Its distinctive flavor is reminiscent of licorice, which will blend very well with different aromatic spices, such as cinnamon and ginger.

STEVIA EXTRACTS

The form in which stevia is primarily used as a sweetener in Japan is that ofa white powdered extract. In this form it is approximately 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar (by weight).This white powder is an extract of the sweet glycosides (natural sweetening agents) in the stevia leaf.Not all stevia extract powders are the same. The taste, sweetness and cost of the various white stevia powders will likely depend on their degree of refinement and the quality of the stevia plant used. You may find that some powders have more of an aftertaste.Since extracted stevia powder is so intensely sweet, we recommend that it be used by the pinch (or drop if diluted in water). Once mixed, this solution should be stored in the refrigerator.

 

LIQUID CONCENTRATES

These come in several forms. There's a syrupy black liquid (that results from boiling the leaves in water), which can enhance the flavor of many foods. Another type is made by steeping stevia leaves in distilled water or a mix of water and grain alcohol. You can also find a liquid made from the white powder concentrate mixed with water, and preserved with grapefruit seed extract.

 

 

CUTIVATION AND PROPAGATION SOIL

 

 It grows well in sandy loam soils with an ample supply of water. It prefers acidic to neutral soil with a PH range of 6.5-7.5 for its best growth. Saline soils should be avoided as this plant is susceptible to water logged conditions. CLIMATE It is a semi-humid, subtropical plant and can grow in the temperature ranges between 11-38o C.An annual average temperature of 31o C with a rainfall of 140 cm per year has been found optimum for its good growth. It shows good seed germination when subjected to light and warm conditions.Hence, a long growing season, minimal frost, high light intensities and warm temperature favours higher leaf production.Stevia is a short day plant, but the concentration of stevioside in the leaves increases when the plants are grown under long day conditions. The day temperatures should not exceed 38oC and the night temperatures should not fall below 10o C.

 

LAND PREPARATION

 

The land sites are plowed and or cultivated twice to prepare a fairly smooth, firm-planting surface. CULTIVATION PROPAGATION Stevia plants can be propagated from cuttings or seeds or by tissue culture. As the seed germination is very poor and seedlings are very slow to establish, it is generally propagated clonally through cuttings. For vegetative propagation, stem cuttings of 15 cm length taken from leaf axils of the current year’s growth have been given better results. Treatment with Paclobutrazol@ 100ppm has been found to induce the root initiation in short time and IBA@500 ppm is also found to be effective. The best months for propagation are February-March. The cuttings will be ready for transplanting after 25-30 days of rooting.

 

TRANSPLANTS Transplants from cuttings would be superior; however, cost makes it prohibitive. Stevia must be propagated from seed in plug trays placed in a greenhouse for a period of 7 to 8 weeks.

 

PLANTING Depending on different climatic conditions, Stevia is cultivable throughout the year except for times when it is extremely hot or cold. Stevia plug plants are planted into the field on either 53 cm or 61 cm row spacing with a total plant density in the order of 100,000 plants per hectare.

 

FERTILIZATION The plant appears to have low nutrient requirements; however a soil test should be conducted.

 

WEED CONTROL This crop also requires hand hoeing and weeding.

 

PESTS Insect pest pressures other than cutworm are minimal. Septoria disease can cause considerable damage to the Stevia crop. Animals seem to like the sweet taste of Stevia, too.

 

HARVESTING Time of harvesting depends on land variety and growing season. Generally, it can be scheduled when plants are 40-60 centimeters in height. Shorter days induce flowering. Optimum yield (biomass) and stevioside quality and quantity is best just prior to flowering. The plant will tolerate very low temperatures.

 

DRYING Drying of the woody stems plus the soft green leaf material is completed immediately after harvesting, utilizing a drying wagon or a kiln. Depending on weather conditions and density of loading, it generally takes 24 to 48 hours to dry Stevia at 40°C to 50°C. An estimated 21,500 kg/ha of green weight is dried down to 6,000 kg/ha of dry weight.

THRESHING Immediately following drying, a specially designed thresher/separator is necessary to separate dry Stevia leaves from its stem. Stem and leaf portions tend to be equally represented at 3,000 kg/ha each.

ECONOMIC VIABILITY OF THE STEVIA CROP......

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