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Stevia Soft Drink

by in Kitchen Sink, Sugar Substitutes, Weight Loss May 19, 2008

steviasugarfree.jpgI bet you thought you would NEVER in your lifetime hear a Naturopathic Physician sing the praises of Coca-Cola, but because they are going to be the FIRST company out with a new naturally sweetened zero calorie soft drink made out of the herb Stevia, I thought I would do a little promo for them.

Because Aspartame is a Villain of the Kitchen Table, I whole heartedly recommend Stevia as the only currently safe zero calorie sweetener. Stevia has been used for over 200 years in Paraguay, and in my opinion we need to use products that are shown to be safe by research. I am always skeptical of any new chemical that has not passed the test of time, and has safely passed through generations of humans.

Truvia is the brand name of the natural sweetener synthesized from the plant Stevia that will be used in this new Coca Cola product. You can read an article about the use of Stevia based products here.

Otherwise I thought I would share with you all the exciting press release I just received on this product soon to hit the shelves this year:

“WAYZATA, Minn., [May 15, 2008] — In response to strong consumer demand for a natural, zero-calorie way to sweeten foods and beverages, Cargill today introduced TRUVIA™ brand (pronounced Tru-VEE-a) natural sweetener, a great-tasting, zero-calorie sweetener made from rebiana, the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf. TRUVIA™ natural sweetener will provide consumers with a new, natural way to reduce calories in their diet while still enjoying sweet-tasting foods and beverages.

“TRUVIA™ natural sweetener is a breakthrough new ingredient. This is a significant milestone for Cargill’s emerging zero calorie sweetener business with application across food, beverage and tabletop products. We have spent more than two years validating the consumer demand for this new sweetener. Soon consumers will recognize TRUVIA™ for quality and great taste, delivering the first natural, zero calorie sweetness people have been asking for,” said Marcelo Montero, president, Cargill Health & Nutrition.

Beginning in Nature
TRUVIA™ rebiana begins with a leaf. Leaves from the stevia plant, a shrub native to Paraguay and today commercially grown in China, are harvested and dried, then steeped in fresh water in a process similar to that of making tea. This process unlocks the best-tasting part of the leaf, which is then purified to make a food-grade sweet ingredient. The finished product is the pure sweetness of rebiana, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar. TRUVIA™ natural sweetener has a clean, sweet taste that is consistent as an ingredient for food and beverages.

“This new, natural sweetener leverages Cargill’s expertise in specialty food ingredients, agronomy, food science and safety as well as consumer insight and marketing capabilities,” said Steve Snyder, vice president, Cargill Health & Nutrition. “The company is positioned to manage the development of this new sweetener from the first plantings in the field to formulation for foods and beverages, all the way to the product that will sweeten your morning coffee.”

Scientific Studies Supporting Truvia™ Natural Sweetener
Research published electronically today in the peer-reviewed, scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology clearly establishes the safety of rebiana for use as a natural, zero-calorie sweetener in food and beverages. A rigorous safety evaluation program – the first of its kind to evaluate rebiana – addressed unresolved questions and verified the safety of the product for use as a general purpose sweetener. The research program included metabolism, safety, intake, stability and human studies that complement the body of previously published research on purified steviol glycosides, the sweet components of the stevia leaf.

Background on Stevia
The stevia plant has been grown, harvested and used in South America to sweeten foods and beverages for more than 200 years. The plant was discovered by the Guarani natives of Paraguay who used its leaves to sweeten drinks. In 1931, two French food-researchers isolated the sweet components of the stevia leaf.

Consumers in Japan have been using stevia commercially for more than three decades, and today, stevia represents 40 percent of the country’s low- or zero-calorie sweetener market.

Because rebiana begins with a leaf, supply is contingent upon the strength of the stevia crop. Over many years, Cargill has built a strong and consistent stevia supply chain in anticipation of launching TRUVIA™ natural sweetener, and has a dedicated staff on the ground and partner companies in key regions around the world supervising production and ensuring good stewardship of land and water. Today, one stevia plant yields enough rebiana for 30 six-ounce cups of coffee.

About TRUVIA™ Natural Sweetener
TRUVIA™ natural sweetener is a great-tasting, natural, zero-calorie product, made from rebiana, the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf.

For more information, visit www.allaboutrebiana.com or www.TRUVIA.com

About Cargill
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., Cargill is a privately held international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. As a global leader in nourishing people, Cargill offers a wide range of sweetness solutions based on consumer demand and tastes. With 158,000 employees in 66 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed. For more information about Cargill, visit: www.cargill.com.”

I hope that this product made from Stevia will give all you diet pop drinkers a new healthier option. Please keep in mind that I am completely AGAINST the use of the evil villain aspartame and until this product is out would prefer that people drink regular soda or even better green tea, or good ol’ water!

If we are forced to GROW plants in order to fulfill the demand for zero calorie products that is only a benefit to the environment, as the growth of plants helps to fight the rising levels of carbon monoxide in our atmosphere and the resultant “Greenhouse Effect”.

Hooray for Coca-Cola and Cargill…it is important that a large company like Coca-Cola is on board with this mission to provide natural products because they actually have the name brand and reach to promote a natural product.

Just say “NO” to fake food!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician

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17 Comments
  1. I do use stevia and have recommended to many people. A tiny bit goes a very long way when it comes to creating sweetness. I did find your article to be interesting. However, I’ll bet that you can hear the “but” coming already.

    I will not purchase a single Cargill product until every last contained animal is released and all government subsidization of CAFO (contained animal feeding operations) comes to an end. Please check out the Union of Concerned Scientists website so you understand where I am coming from. http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/cafo-costs-report-0113.html a
    http://ucsaction.org/campaign/5_1_08_cafos_uncovered/?qp_source=wacucs%5fhomearspotlig

  2. Timethief- thank you so much for making me aware of this issue…animal rights is very important to me and I often take that in to consideration when prescribing hormone replacement medicines for menopausal management. I am completely against CAFO. THANK YOU for sharing these articles!!!

    Very important stuff.

  3. Hmm, haven’t heard of this before. I wonder if they will be marketing this product in the Philippines.

  4. Does anything sweet not cause a cephalic response?

  5. I dunno about this Doc. It was like when MacDonalds started selling salads. These companies didn’t given a damn about the health of their customers or the state of the planet until they are forced to do so.

    Is it better than nothing? I guess so, but not much imho.

  6. Hi everyone. Take a look at http://www.zevia.com. We have been producing and selling Zevia for about 6 months. It is available up and down the West Coast and soon the Eas Coast as well. Zevia is a delicious all natural carbonated Zevia supplement in 4 great flavors. Orange, Twist, Coal and Ginger Root Beer. Zevia contains no aspartame or splenda and all the ingredients are from the earth. Coke’s product is not available yet and I encourage you to ask your local retailer to carry Zevia. Free samples are available online. You just have to pay shipping and handling.

  7. Haven’t you heard of Zevia yet? I think they are even in your own backyard in WA. I get it in LA. It’s a great cola that uses Stevia. That’s why I buy it. These guys have been around for a while, and I don’t think Coke is going to have a stevia version of diet coke for a while. they still have to get past the FDA.

  8. I hope this tastes good. Stevia has a licorice taste that I don’t like, but maybe mixed with cola, it may not be so pronounced.

  9. Dr. Nicole,

    Thank you so much for making me aware of this issue. I used to be a diet soda junkie, and still am at heart but gave up my nasty habit since being pregnant and having my son. I do love the new Coca-Cola zero drinks though. I feel like I have uncovered a secret that gives me an excuse to enjoy my guilty pleasure. I would like to see more remedies for combating problems for children in the future.

    Thanks so much,
    Amy

  10. Wow – this is very cool info. Dr. Nicole! Thank you. As a soda lover, I’m trying to cut back – but I’d love great alternative sweeteners that are healthy.

  11. I’ve been using Stevia for 3 years and just love it. My parents didn’t let us have sugar when we were kids. It was fresh fruit for snacks, etc. So now as an adult I don’t handle sugar well at all, which is a good thing. Stevia is espcially good with sour fruits like lemon/lime juice, etc. You can get both liquid Stevia and powder in almost any healthfood store and use it just like you would sugar, simply adjust to taste. The main thing is to ONLY buy stevia that does NOT have maltodextrin (a type of sugar) and other sweetners or additives put in it. I buy the SWEET LEAF brand as it seems to be the purest. Liquid stevia is good when adding to cold or room temp drinks and food, powder it good for hot tea or liquids or can be used in cook as can liquid stevia. A little goes a long way in herb tea, lime or lemonade, hot cereal with cinnamon or dash of vanilla thrown in, etc.

    For those who suffer from yeast or candida STEVIA is great. You can read an article titled “Stevia and Candida Albicans” at this site: http://ezinearticles.com/?Stevia-and-Candida-Albicans&id=74949
    This article also gives some directions for adapting recipes for using Stevia.

  12. Hi Blah- all sweet flavored substances will most likely create a cephalic response as digestion does initially begin in the mind. That is why eating all five flavors like the Chinese recommend is so important to have a balanced diet.

  13. Hi Tim- LOL yes, I think this is better than nothing. I am not a fan of soda at all, but for those that just won’t give it up, I guess it is better than nothing!

  14. Hi Ian- thanks for the headsup!

  15. Hi Bobilly- I was wondering about the FDA too. Well if they make a stevia diet coke it will be huge promo for stevia that is for certain!

  16. Hi Mark- Please don’t drink aspartame! That is all I have to say about that!!

  17. Hi Robin- thanks for the great info!

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