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Health, safety and regulatory advances for stevia-derived sweeteners


GRAS Associates, 12068 Via Cercina, Bonita Springs, FL 34135, USA


The recent regulatory acceptance of stevia-derived sweeteners is a result of decades of scientific study on thechemistry, toxicology and clinical effects on the purified sweetener. Critical studies include chronic studies in rats where nocarcinogenic effects were observed and several studies which defined the limited uptake, metabolic pathway to stevioland elimination from the body. Instrumental in the regulatory acceptance was the detailed review by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) over several years as well as satisfying the remaining data gaps in studies withhuman volunteers. Subsequent regulatory approvals followed the JECFA recommendation for the acceptable daily intake(ADI) levels and purity specifications for the sweetener.