Stevia is a South American shrub whose leaves have been used for centuries by native peoples in Paraguay and Brazil to sweeten their yerba mate and other beverages. This sweetener has been used in the US as a supplement for years but on December 17, 2008 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of high quality stevia extract in food and beverages. Its scientific name is Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni, named so after Bertoni, one of two French scientists who isolated the glycosides that give Stevia its sweet taste. To make the sweetener, stevia leaves are brewed just like tea then the tea is crystallized to make the sweetener.
Today, stevia is grown commercially and used in many countries around the world. Because of its natural status and health benefits and its suitability of baking, many believe that stevia will eventually replace the use of artificial sugars. We believe this will be so and we just eliminated the use of Splenda and are now combining the purest form of stevia with our xylitol and erythritol for all of our baking. (Angel Sweet blend)
Our Rheinlander Bakery uses only the purest, most refined form of stevia in our health conscious brands. This gives our baked goods a superb taste with no lingering aftertaste. Because stevia is natural and derived from the leaf of a plant, it does not contain any harmful chemicals often found in artificial sweeteners. Stevia is safe for diabetics, has been shown to help prevent tooth decay, and has even been recommended by the World Health Organization for use as a treatment for hypertension.