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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 90-94

A review onimportance of natural sweetener, a zero calorie plant – Stevia - Having medicinal and commercial importance

Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Moradabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Manvi Rastogi
Teerthanker Mahaveer University, Moradabad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Sugar is an inseparable part of the food we consume. Artificial sweetener (A sugar substitute) is a food additive that duplicates the effect of sugar in taste, but usually has less food energy. Besides its benefits, animal studies have convincingly proven that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain, brain tumors, bladder cancer and many other health hazards.Stevia is a natural sweetener plant and estimated to 300 times sweeter than sugar cane. Stevioside is regenerated as a valuable natural sweetening agent because of its relatively good taste and chemical stability. Products can be added to tea and coffee, cooked or baked goods, processed foods and beverages, fruit juices, tobacco products, pastries, chewing gum and sherbets. The direct effect of stevioside on transport activity of glucose in skeletal muscle study divulged that insulin action on muscle glucose transport might be improved due to the low concentration of stevioside, signifying that stevioside has the imminent action in the glucose transport system in skeletal muscle. Also, it has a potential commercial value and that is why private and public biotechnology companies are producing stevia in huge quantity and marketing its products. Stevia is such a versatile herb with sweetness that possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial property also. It can be safely used in herbal medicines, tonics, for diabetics and also in the daily usage products like mouth washes, and tooth pastes. Leaves of this plant produce zero-calorie, a non-nutritive, high potency sweetener and substitute to sucrose.

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