HealthCo, a division of NOW Health Group, announces that it has achieved Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status for its ingredient STEVIA FSE™ after a comprehensive review of safety and toxicology data by an independent panel of scientists. HealthCo will be selling STEVIA FSE as a food ingredient immediately in these formats: bulk powder, private label consumer sizes, and food-service bulk packets.
STEVIA FSE is a unique, and markedly different Stevia sweetener. While most Stevia ingredients on the market have a bitter aftertaste, Stevia FSE is enzymatically treated to remove the bitter aftertaste. Enzyme treated Stevia FSE provides a better-rounded sweetening profile that is ideal for numerous food applications. Stevia FSE utilizes the whole Stevia leaf and is not an isolated fraction, like Reb A, which is said to require that additional added substances to mask the bitter aftertaste. No flavorings or masking agents are used in Stevia FSE because none are needed. The natural enzyme treatment enhances its organoleptic (sensory) properties. Stevia FSE is 60-100 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose). Stevia FSE is also NOP Certified Organic and Kosher.
“Our knowledge of the natural products consumer made it imperative that our Stevia ingredient be a far more natural offering than the products which are starting to mainstream,” said Michael Lelah, Technical Director). “GRAS status makes our branded whole leaf Stevia extract available to manufacturers of food products now.”
Utilizing the platform of “general purpose non-nutritive sweetener for foods and beverages,” self-affirmed GRAS status allows manufacturers additional freedom to add Stevia FSE in a variety of foods and beverages ranging from baked goods to milk products, breakfast cereals, cheese, egg products, processed vegetables, soft candy, soups, snack foods, non-alcoholic beverages, imitation dairy products, hard candy, chewing gum, granulated sugar, and even seasonings & flavors.