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Rebaudioside A, the sweet sibling of stevioside

Next to stevioside, rebaudioside A or Reb A for short is the most important glycoside substance that can be extracted from stevia, through a precise process that includes drying of the leaves, grinding them into powder and then using fresh water to brew out the extract.

 

Although stevioside (up to 12%) is more explicitly present in the stevia leaves than Reb A (up to 4%), recent research has pointed out that the latter is the sweetest of the two - no less than 400 times sweeter than sucrose! Rebaudiose A even tastes sweeter than its sibling, next to the somewhat bitter aftertaste of stevioside.

Next to its sweetness, reb A has a lot of advantages:
   

  • it's 100% natural   
  • it's soluble in water   
  • it's pH neutral   
  • the sweet taste remains stable in temperatures up to 200°C (392°F), which makes cooking with stevia easy!  
  • it's dry and can be stored for a long period of time without it molding, fermenting or going bad   
  • it holds no toxins, no side effects of any kind have been reported in either animals or humans  
  • it has zero calories   
  • there are ties between the prevention of diabetes and stevia, as the sweet leaf has a glycemic index of zero!


 

Ever since it received GRAS-approval (Generally Recognised As Safe) from the FDA at the end of 2008, reb A has been gaining popularity over stevioside, and researchers all over the world are looking to see whether it's possible to increase the amount of reb A in stevia through genetic manipulation of the plant.

 



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