Swedish sweetener STEVIA to be launched in Europe.
A natural extract from the plant Stevia Rebaudiana can be expected to go on sale in Sweden this fall after EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, recommended approval as a calorie-free sweetener for foods and beverages. Stevia has already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a natural alternative to synthetic sweeteners.
According to Carl Horn af Rantzien, CEO of the Swedish company, Stevia Granular AB, European food companies are developing Stevia sweetened products for launch in about 6-9 months following this week's statement from EFSA. Headquartered in Stockholm, the sweetener's discoverers have worked with Stevia since 2003, when they began to help small farmers in Paraguay to achieve steady incomes. Today, both Pepsi Co. and Coca-Cola Co. have drinks sweetened with the substance.
"This will allow us to grow here in Sweden, while we can concentrate even more on the ecologically and socially sustainable production in Paraguay," says Carl Horn af Rantzien, who is otherwise distinguished for the founding of "A Non Smoking Generation" in the eighties.
For more info, see www.realstevia.se