Real Stevia Blog
  • Paraguay – The land of stevia

    stevia header

    It was finally time for us, Anna and Carl-Fredrik, to visit Paraguay for the first time. After a 24 hour long trip we arrived in Paraguay, where our stevia plantations and second office are located. Our first impression, besides the very moist heat, was that it wasn’t that different to Sweden, where our trip had started. Even though our countries obviously have major social and geographical differences, the people, values and ambitions are very similar. Everyone we met was very open and friendly and we communicated in a lively mix of Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Our Paraguayan multilingual colleagues helped us with translation into the native Guaraní language when meeting with the farmers.

    > Read more

  • Sustainability Report 2016!

    Sustainability Report 2016 – A sweet business

    Sugar has increasingly become a health threat that can no longer be overlooked, causing alarming problems with diabetes, obesity and other endemic diseases. Many countries are adopting a sugar tax approach to cope with over consumption of sugar, and producers are looking to reduce the amount of sugar in our daily foods and drinks.

    stevia_nursery
    Stevia in our plant nursery

    Stevia extracts are perfectly positioned to fill the gap of a sugar reduction. The extract results from the stevia plant, an herb that is natural, calorie free and can be grown without negative impact on the environment. > Read more

  • What’s the deal with the sugar tax?

    As you may have heard in the news, or in the blogosphere, there’s a lot of buzz around a sugar tax or sugar levy being passed into law all around the world. Let’s try and dispel some myths and give some background into why this is becoming a world-wide trend.

    Tax on soft drinks

    Tax on added sugars in soft drinks could affect a wide range of products

    The growing obesity epidemic around the world is a serious public health problem, as it significantly increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers. At present, around 415 million adults have diabetes with estimates saying by 2040 this number will rise to 642 million.

    > Read more

  • Stevia celebrates 5 year since EU approval

    extracts

    Five years ago, in December 2011, stevia extract or as the legislative body prefer to call it, steviol glycosides or E960 was approved for use in the EU and the first products hit the market shortly thereafter. With this 5 year anniversary to the approval that The Real Stevia Company was a central force in accomplishing, it’s worth looking back on stevia in Europe to see what has happened during this period.

    Since December 2011 we have seen the number of stevia products on the European market steadily increase, with introductions taking on a sharp increase in recent years. Over 4000 stevia products have been launched with roughly 70% of them happening in the last three years. > Read more

  • Happy Labor Day!

    Farmer and Family resting

    On Sunday May 1st we celebrate Labor Day and the International Worker’s Day in Sweden and around most parts of the world. Paraguay and China celebrates it as well and we’d like to give a special thanks to our farmers who are out in the fields tending and growing our stevia plants.

    Stevia flower

    Sweden traditionally celebrates May with a ‘May Flower’, here is the flower of a young stevia plant!

    As part of our commitment to sustainably sourced stevia we also want to make sure our farmers have the proper tools and education to be able to support themselves and their families.

    > Read more

  • Taste is King

    Taste Is King

    As we’re celebrating Earth Day today we thought we’d take a quick minute to discuss the importance of the quality of stevia plants to establish a good taste.

    The stevia extract is a sweetener, just like sugar, however since it is so extremely sweet compared to sugar it needs to be correctly dosed to ensure a good taste. A very important quality of a sweetener, that is sometimes overlooked is the quality of taste. Besides just tasting sweet, a successful sweetener needs to have a rounded flavor profile. Much like how a good tasting wine or chocolate relies heavily on the quality of the berry and cocoa bean, so too is stevia reliant on high quality leaves. > Read more

  • World Health Day – Fighting Diabetes

    WHO World Health Day

    Today is WHOs World Health Day and the focus for this year is how to halt the rise of diabetes. WHO is calling for global action to halt rise of – and improve care for people with – diabetes. According to numbers from WHO, the number of people living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults, with most living in developing countries. In 2014, more than 1 in 3 adults aged over 18 years were overweight and more than one in 10 were obese. Some of the the factors driving this dramatic rise include overweight and obesity. > Read more

  • How is stevia metabolized by the human body?

    Stevia Plant

    All sweeteners are metabolized differently in the human body. Often comparison of stevia, with artificial and other sweeteners, can be misleading as that difference is not made clear.

    Let’s first look at how sugar is broken down in the body. When digesting sugar, the pancreas produces insulin to break it down which keeps blood sugar levels in check. In diabetics this is especially problematic due to a deficiency in the insulin production, an insufficient digestion of sugar which then leads to elevated blood sugar levels.

    Stevia metabolizes differently. The body does not react to stevia as it does with sucrose from sugar so there is no insulin production; the steviol glycosides passes unchanged through the body (as opposed to sugar) down to the colon where the glycoside is removed in stages by hydrolysis, resulting in the formation of steviol. > Read more

  • Making a distinction between stevia, sugar and artificial sweeteners

    Theproduct_web_res

    Recently there has been an increasing discussion on the use of sugar, stevia and artificial sweeteners. We think it is positive that this is raised in the media when then the negative health effects of a rising calorie intake are clear worldwide, with obesity and diabetes as a result. Today more than 415 million people are living with diabetes worldwide, the equivalent of 1 out of 11 adults. This figure is expected to rise to 641.7 million people in 2040.

    Scientists, legislators, the media, food producers and consumers worldwide all agree that reducing sugar intake is one of the most important health issues for the future.

    > Read more

  • Extracting steviol glycosides from the stevia plant

    You have probably heard of ‘steviol glycosides’ and ‘stevia’ and wonder what the difference is. Steviol glycosides is the extract from the stevia plant (stevia rebaudiana) and it is what gives the leaves their sweet taste. Similar to how sucrose is the extract from the sugar plant. Here’s how we at The Real Stevia Company produce our Real Stevia™ product.

    The path from leaf to sweetener is done in six steps:

    Step 1:
    Collecting the dried leaves from the collection sites where our smallholder farmers have deposited them.

    Step 2:
    Immersing the leaves in warm water to extract the sweet taste of the leaves – the steviol glycosides.

    > Read more

  • Equal Opportunities in Stevia

    equal opportunity

    As we’re celebrating the international women’s day today we thought we’d highlight our values in relation to gender equality. As a company with a Scandinavian background we’ve always treated it as a cornerstone in our business, and we’ve made it a point to make sure this continues to our operations and offices worldwide. At our offices in Paraguay, Granular PY, we work with a large number of women. Over 80% of our employees are women there and in Stockholm we’re at a roughly equal 50%. Including our operations in China, all three are led by women.

    “We believe equal opportunity is key to creating a more creative and stimulating working environment.

    > Read more

  • Being an informed consumer is tough

    Being an informed consumer is tough.

    This feeling set in again this February when EFSA, the European expert authority that offers advice on food to European legislators, presented their opinion on sugar.

    EFSA, or rather the panel behind EFSA, now reports that sugar is not causing diabetes, overweight and a wealth of health issues.

    This is contrary to what WHO, FDA and a majority of other heavyweight reports are saying; the general consensus today is that we should cut down our sugar intake.

    2000px-EFSA_logo.svg

    Why would these EFSA experts go against the stream? Why does the EFSA in their statement rely heavily on a year 2000 report from the International Journal of Obesity as evidence, when Arne Astrup, one of the authors, today say that this report is heavily outdated and that he himself would disregard from his own report as so much more knowledge has been acquired since.

    > Read more

  • Looking back at the year in stevia 2015

    Field of stevia

    2015 was a fun year with lots of activity for us at The Real Stevia Company. Perhaps a bit too much to do as we now reached a year since our last blog post! We’re sorry for the delay and aim to pick this up again and we begin so right now with a short re-cap of our previous year.

    Taxes on sugar has been a hot topic in 2015, with Mexico putting a 10% tax on all sugar-sweetened drinks and San Francisco and the UK following closely behind with proposed laws and debates. Already in June, lawmakers in San Francisco voted unanimously to put warning labels on all advertisements for sugary beverages in the city.

    > Read more

  • How can anyone think that this is sustainable?

    GMO, Real Stevia Blog

    GMO Crops

    It is very simple to understand the underlying primitive desire to increase quarterly earnings. Some people would refer this as the definition of greed.

    Last month David Schubert of CNN gave his thoughts on the EPA’s decision to increase the allowable concentration limits of agricultural chemicals in food. You can read his article here.

    In which direction does this take our food production, life and health? How can any thinking human being, without the direct financial interest, think that this can be sustainable?

    In my book it isn’t even financially sustainable!
    What do you say?

     

    > Read more

  • This is very good news, indeed!

    The Real Stevia Company released the results of a public survey from Novus in Sweden. The results are very encouraging about the “awareness of Stevia” among Swedish consumers. According to this, Stevia has during only the last three years risen to become a very attractive sweetener among consumers as well as in the food industry.

    Personally, it is with great satisfaction that I see these years lay behind me and not in front of me.

    I am now looking back at 10 years of involvement in building the Real Stevia™ Company and getting the EU approval for Steviol Glycosides. This is why it is such a satisfaction to see that, once Stevia enters the market, the consumers immediately recognize and are attracted to such sustainably produced products! > Read more

  • Sustainability? – No, Let’s push our luck a little bit further!

    It seems major businesses are still not realizing in which direction we are heading and how available resources are misused. Is this because of lack of information? Hardly!

    One very important corporate shift is spearheaded by Unilever, one of the world’s global food giants. Now under the stewardship of its Chairman Michael Treschow, no stone is left unturned when it comes to identifying and dealing with existing unethical business behaviour, remaining from an old business culture. People are fired and fines are paid! New measures for business growth are set, gradually shifting focus towards a more sustainable production.

    A paradigm shift is created as corporate giants decides that a change is necessary for business in general, thereby demonstrating wrong, the common anticipation that big business, by definition, is evil. > Read more

  • Welcome news for type 2 diabetics. And welcome, Coca Cola Life!

    The attached scientific report is in many ways scary reading for anyone struggling with high blood sugar levels. Here we were, believing that lab-invented, artificial sweeteners were a remedy for glucose intolerance – and then all signs point to the opposite! Aspartame and friends obviously only make things worse. Surprise!

    We don’t know if people suffering from diabetes type 2 think the research results are good news or bad news – “For years, I’ve been working against my body, believing I was doing the right thing” – but fortunately there is a sweet alternative: stevia. As natural as sugar, as calorie-free as chemical sweeteners. > Read more

  • Alla svenskar är invandrare, men alla invandrare är inte ännu svenskar!

    Tack alla Invandrare! Tack Laleh! Tack Salvatore Grimaldi! Tack Jimmie Åkesson! Tack alla andra invandrare som sedan istiden har hjälpt till att bygga Sverige. Fört in nya kunskaper, genererat ny business och nya vinster. Kort sagt skapat den svenska nationalstaten med alla dess rikedomar!

    Jag är ju naturligtvis part i målet, eftersom vår släkt kom till Sverige medan Sverige hade ockuperat en stor del av  Norra Europa. Vi var många som kom från Tyskland och Baltikum då.

    Då liksom nu fanns det inslag av religiösa fanatiker, som i religionens namn drev populistisk maktpolitik. Enkla lösningar på komplicerade utmaningar. Men man behöver ju inte vara religiös fanatiker för att komma med enkla populistiska lösningar. > Read more

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About the Real Stevia Blog

In this Real Stevia Blog we invite our founder and employees to discuss issues and other topics related to stevia and our company. This can range from topics such as the sugar and artificial sweetener debate, our operations in Paraguay and China, sustainability and it's effects on health and climate. Of course we'll also give the best tips and advice on how to work with our stevia products!

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