Bertoni, Italian-Swiss born scientist discovered Stevia in Paraguay in 1887, when local chemists told him about the sugar-tasting plant. The plant has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil. Several years later than he received some through a customs officer. This sample drove him to communicate to the scientific community its discovery in 1899.
In 1908 in Germany, P. Rasenack isolated the sweetening component stevioside, for the first time. French researchers Bridel and Lavieille published 8 articles in the Newspaper of Pharmacy and Chemistry in 1931 on stevia.
Soon after, Pomaret and Lavieille demonstrated that the human body did not absorb steviosides and rebaudiosides when they are ingested by the consumption of stevia. This discovery is important because it demonstrates that these sweetening agents do not bring a calorie to the body.
In the 1950s in Japan, the demand post-war in rice went down dramatically. The Japanese looked for a viable alternative and found stevia. Resources were freed in 1954 to lead studies of toxicology and extraction of sweetinging compounds of stevia. The Japanese progressed then very quickly in the control of the process of manufacturing and research of stevia.
Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is a plant native to miraculous South America whose leaves are traditionally used to sweeten. Of this plant, or more specifically the leaves of this plant extract is rebaudioside A, a naturally occurring sweetener, 300 times sweeter than sucrose, calorie-free and zero glycemic index.
The European Commission has authorized the use of steviol glycosides as a non-caloric sweetener in the European market.
As a result, consumers across Europe will be able to enjoy products sweetened by steviol glycosides as early as December 2, 2011.