Cargill applies for increased stevia limits

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 16th December 2010

SteviaFood Standards Australia New Zealand has reviewed a request by Cargill to increase the maximum permitted levels of steviol glycosides, the sweetening agent in stevia, in order to provide a better taste profile.

If accepted, the maximum stevia sweetener content would be raised for ice cream, water based beverages, brewed soft drinks, formulated beverages and flavoured soy beverages.

An acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 0-4 mg/kg bodyweight, expressed as steviol equivalents,
was established by FSANZ in 2008, JECFA in 2009 and EFSA in 2010.

In order to ascertain the likelihood of consumers exceeding this daily intake, FSANZ conducted statistical analysis of consumer buying patterns and brand loyalty.

“The proposed increases in the maximum permitted levels of steviol glycosides in ice cream and selected beverages are technologically justified and supported by taste trials as providing a more acceptable taste profile to consumers,” FSANZ concluded in their risk assessment.

“Toxicological and other relevant data published subsequent to the original FSANZ assessment raise no concerns regarding the safety of steviol glycosides and do not indicate a need to change the existing ADI of 0-4 mg/kg bw/day, expressed as steviol equivalents.”