If you read yesterday’s blog, I deemed Truvia #1 to my taste-buds. Someone helpfully pointed out that they’re made from the same plant — the stevia plant. Stevia is native to Paraguay and Peru (depending on which source you reference). It is approximately 30 times sweeter than natural sugar, and is calorie free! Stevia-based sweeteners were approved for use by the FDA in December of 2008. Though they are 2-3x more expensive than saccharin (Sweet’n Low), aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), they are gaining popularity quickly. “Truvia” is Coke’s version of the stevia-based sweetener, while “PureVia” is Pepsi’s version .
Both Truvia and PureVia are calorie-free, kosher products. One packet of commercially sold Truvia equates to the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar. On the Truvia website there is a Q&A section and one of the questions is: What makes Truvia natural sweetener better than other stevia-based sweeteners? So, the research goes on .
The stevia plant has over 200 varieties. The quality of the “sweetness” depends on the extracted sweet compound that the leaves yield . To me this reads “some parts of the plant are sweeter than others.” We move on to PureVia’s site where they give away the answer.
The sweeteners are made from Reb A (or Rebiana) — the SWEETEST part of the plant. PureVia is ethanol-purified and the Reb A is blended with other “natural ingredients” for flavor. The bulking agents in PureVia include erythritol and isomaltulose . Truvia does not purify with ethanol, according to what I’ve found thus far. Truvia also mentions no use of isomaltulose as a bulking agent . Erythritol sounds bad, but it is a natural sweetener. It’s found in fruits such as grapes and pears and is extracted naturally .
So in a nut shell, the stevia plant’s sweetness varies a lot. Though both products are derived from the Reb A portion of the plant, the bulking agents and proportions of stevia vary…creating a different taste. There ya have it. Is there ANYTHING more anyone could ever want to know about stevia? : )
Last night I used some of my new calorie-containing sweeteners and made crock pot oatmeal. It was delicious. I threw into my crock pot:
2 cups of old fashioned oats
6 cups water
3 Tbsp cinnamon (I like a lot!)
2 Tbsp turbinado
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1/3 cup dates, diced
Cook on low 8-9 hours and enjoy! It was creamy and delicious! It needed no more sugar and has leftovers ready for 3 breakfasts this week! If you think I’m crock pot obsessed, you are correct!
On a completely unrelated note…no more football-less Saturdays! It should be a good year for the Fighting Illini (#25) and Oklahoma Sooners (#2). The two teams play back-to-back next weekend on ESPN and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m saving my first hoodie reveal for Saturday. Crock pot vegetarian chili will be involved, as well. What college football team are you a #1 fan of?
Lily and I are off to the dog park…have a wonderful day!
. McCay, Betsy.
FDA Clears Use of Herb as Sweetener. The Wall Street Journal. December 18, 2008.
. Stevia-based Sweetener Truvia Gets FDA Nod. Stevia Cafe.
. PureVia website.
. Truvia website.
Great information. I had no idea they were even different. I've learned something today, nice!
Oh this is such great info!! Thanks a ton for all the research 🙂
Hey Nicole, I'm still weary of Stevia (and its related products) due to its safety… what do you think? http://nutritionnibbles.blogspot.com/2009/04/stevias-safety.htmlGreat info though! Sybil
Hi, just found your blog through Gina's. Thanks for this post clarifying the difference between different brands and their tastes. It was very informative. Looking forward to read more! 🙂