Get the Facts
Have a question about Sweet Green Fields stevia products? Try our Frequently Asked Questions, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, you can ask us directly through our Contact Us page or call +1-360-483-4555 .
What is SGF’s Natural Sweetener?
SGF sells stevia extracts. They are all-natural, high-intensity and zero calorie sweeteners derived from stevia leaf (Stevia Rebaudiana), the sweet and finest tasting part of the stevia plant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) no objection notices for Reb-A sweetener use in food products in December 2008.
What is Stevia?
Stevia is a plant native to Paraguay that has been used as a natural sweetener for centuries in South America. Japan began to replace artificial sweeteners with stevia in the early 1970s. Stevia has been referred to as the “holy grail” of sweeteners, but we will let you decide that. It is considered 250 – 400 times the sweetness of sucrose, is pH and heat stable.
What is rebaudioside-A?
Reb-A (Stevia Extract) is an all-natural sweetening ingredient extracted from the stevia leaf that is used in powder or liquid form to heighten sweetening intensity and improve taste.
The stevia leaf contains a number of very similar compounds or steviol glycosides that are all sweet. The best tasting of these is Rebaudioside A. In its highly purified form, it has sweetness between 250 to 400 times that of an equal weight of sugar.
For Rebaudioside A, the R1 position is a single glucose molecule, the R2 position is two glucose molecules. If Rebaudioside A only had the same sweetness as sugar it would have much more calorific content than sugar. However, nature has produced a molecule that is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and therefore a very small amount is needed to sweeten a product meaning it contributes essentially zero calories.
Is your sweetener genetically modified?
No, our plants have been selectively bred to increase the overall glycoside production and specifically the Rebaudioside-A content.
What are glycosides?
Glycosides are a collection of organic compounds that form a simple sugar and play a myriad of important roles in living organisms. Glycosides occur in large quantities in plants. They are soluble in water and SGF extracts a number of glycosides from the stevia plants, that main extract being Reb-A.
How is your sweetener made?
Some portions of the process are proprietary, but the major steps in the extraction involve:
- Water extraction (dried leaf is placed in warm water and the glycosides dissolve in the water).
- Pressing the wet leaf to squeeze out the sweet juices.
- Fine mesh filtration to separate leaf organic material and sweetened water.
- pH adjustment precipitates out bitter tasting organics from sweetened water.
- Proprietary filtration and extraction to isolate the desired glycosides.
- Drying the final product (evaporates liquids used in extraction).
Do your products meet standard regulatory approval?
SGF’s products have received an FDA no objection letter here in the USA and meet JECFA specifications as well. In September of 2008 the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) reviewed the large amount of scientific studies on Reb-A and stevioside (main stevia extract) and published a favorable conclusion concerning its safety. Then in 2011, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) also approved its use in general food consumption.