Which Stevia-based Sweetener Will Win The Race To Replace Sugar?

Flavor and extract manufacturer Ohly has announced a new natural sweetener using stevia called Sav-R-Sweet, according to a company statement. The new product adds flavor, but reduces the natural sweetener's aftertaste, the company states.

Sav-R-Sweet combines the stevia leaf’s no calorie, natural sweetness with a yeasty powder to block bitter aftertaste while boosting fruity flavors.

The company states that using Sav-R-Sweet, sugar was reduced by 50%, and absolute sucrose went down by up to 8%.

The World Health Organization has advocated for a global reduction in sugar intake, saying there is no nutritional value to the ingredient. This week, the multinational agency endorsed using taxes to prevent sugary drink consumption.

Stevia, while native to Paraguay, is an adaptable plant that can grow nearly anywhere in the world. Its market share is increasing, with a global worth of $337.7 million in 2015, according to Grand View Research. Driving the sweetener's popularity are the better-for-you trend to reduce sugar in products. The forthcoming new Nutrition Facts panel on food labels, which will show exactly how much sugar has been added, also is driving manufacturers to reformulate their food.

Many different manufacturers have been working on formulas that cut back on the bitter aftertaste, and the race is on to determine the best formulation for mass market acceptance. Other than Sav-R-Sweet, there's PureCircle, which has its sights set on doubling its production with a new plant. Last month, stevia-based Whole Earth Sweetener Co.'s Nature Sweet packets also started appearing at 9,000 Starbucks locations throughout the United States.