As the stevia industry is poised for wide take-up, harmonisation and recognition of the need for standards is crucial to securing a good reputation from the outset, according to ChromaDex CEO.
Franck Jaksch, CEO of ChromaDex, says the stevia industry has already largely worked out analytical methods and reference materials. But now the issue is bringing harmonisation and acceptance of methods and reference standards across all players.
Amongst the issues that could affect stevia material is hygroscopy. Absorption of water can mean it accumulates weight – and that could effect the amount of stevia to be added to a formulation. The user needs to know the level of water that is there, so as to adjust usage appropriately.
Solubility of the compound can also be an issue depending on how the material is crystallised.
There have already been some instances where other sweeteners like asparatame and sucralose have shown up in stevia analysis, either to make the product taste better or for economic reasons. If the adulterating compound is less expensive, this could shave down the cost of this new, natural, premium product.