References standards set for stevia extracts

by Jeff Gelski
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ROCKVILLE, MD. — The U.S. Pharmacopeia reports that new reference standards are available for Rebaudioside A and stevioside, both of which are high-intensity sweeteners and extracts from the stevia plant. The standards are used in more than 130 countries. They will allow producers and purchasers to compare their ingredients to help ensure and substantiate the identity, quality, purity, strength and consistency of their food ingredient, according to the USP.

Written testing standards for high-purity Rebaudioside A is expected to be released Aug. 31. They will appear in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC).

"These new reference standards, taken together with the written standards in the FCC, provide a powerful tool to help ensure the authenticity of the ingredient manufacturers are using in their new stevia-based product lines," said Dr. James Griffiths, Ph.D., vice-president of food, dietary supplement and excipient standards for the USP. "As these ingredients are produced all over the world in wildly disparate facilities, their authenticity, quality and purity cannot be taken for granted."

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