“COMPARATIVE STUDY OF DIFFERENT CONCENTRATION OF KINETIN ON SHOOT INITIATION AND MASS MULTIPLICATION OF STEVIA REBAUDIANA L.”
Dr. Amit Kumar Dutta*
Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. The active compounds of Stevia are steviol glycosides (mainly Stevioside and Rebaudioside), which have up to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not fermentable. These Steviosides have a negligible effect on blood glucose, which makes Stevia attractive to people on
carbohydrate-controlled diets. Stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of Sugar and some of its extracts may have a bitter or Licorice- like after taste at high concentrations. [2-3]The legal status of Stevia extracts as food additives and supplements varies from country to country. In the United States, Stevia was banned in 1991 after early studies found that it might be carcinogenic; after additional studies, the FDA approved some specific glycoside extracts for use as food additives in 2008.[3-4]
The plant Stevia rebaudiana has been used for more than 1,500 years by the Guaraní peoples of South America, who called it "Sweet Herb". The leaves have been used traditionally for hundreds of years in both Brazil and Paraguay to sweeten local teas and medicines, and as a "Sweet Treat". The exact structure of the Aglycone(Steviol) and of the glycoside were published in 1955.
Stevia extracts and derivatives are produced industrially by many companies, and marketed under many trade names like Rebiana, Truvia., PureVia, Enliten, Erylite Stevia.[9-10] Extract like Rebaudioside-A has the least bitterness of all the steviol glycosides in the Stevia rebaudiana plant. To produce rebaudioside A commercially, Stevia plants are dried and subjected to a water extraction process.
This crude extract contains about 50% rebaudioside A. The various glycosides are separated and purified via crystallization techniques, typically using ethanol or methanol as solvent.[1,7,13]
In 2006, research data compiled in the safety evaluation released by the World Health Organization found no adverse effects. Among these concerns are control of blood sugar and effects on the reproductive, cardiovascular, and renal systems.
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