New Standard for Stevia to Assure Product’s Quality

January 5, 2009

Responding to the growing popularity of a plant-based sweetener, the U.S. Pharmacopeial (USP; Rockville, MD) Convention today announced it is developing a new standard to be included in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) that will help food and beverage manufacturers assure the product’s quality for consumers.

Responding to the growing popularity of a plant-based sweetener, the U.S. Pharmacopeial (USP; Rockville, MD) Convention today announced it is developing a new standard to be included in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) that will help food and beverage manufacturers assure the product’s quality for consumers. USP is seeking comments from the food and beverage industry as well as all other interested parties on the proposed new standard for Rebaudioside A.

“As U.S. manufacturers begin to incorporate this new ingredient into their products, it is important for these companies and, ultimately, consumers to have some sort of assurance that the Rebaudioside A being used is of high quality, is free of harmful contaminants and is consistent in its contents from one batch to the next,” said Darrell Abernethy, MD, PhD, chief science officer for USP.

“By proposing a standard that all manufacturers-in the United States and around the world-can participate in the development of and subsequently choose to adhere to, USP and food and beverage manufacturers can partner to assure the quality of this ingredient. Consumers also are able to participate in this process. We believe such a quality standard is critical given that Rebaudioside A’s use as a sweetener is relatively new in the United States.”

The proposed monograph standard became available in the FCC Forum section of USP’s website on December 31, 2008, for 90 days. After this comment period, USP’s Food Ingredients Expert Committee, which comprises a group of independent, scientific experts, will approve the final monograph to be included in the 2009 FCC supplement.