Stevia eh: Canadians will no longer be missing out
By Sara Zborovski
In my very first blog post, I wrote about the sugar substitute stevia and questioned whether us Canadians would ever get access to the newest (and possibly tastiest) in low sugar foods.
At that time, no company had yet convinced Health Canada that stevia is safe for use as a food additive.
Well the times, they are a changin’!
Health Canada recently released an Information and Consultation Document on its proposal to allow the use of stevia as a table-top sweetener, and a sweetener in certain foods. Hooray!!!
As you (my awesome readers) know, the use of food additives is strictly regulated by Health Canada. Before a new additive can be used, Health Canada has to conduct a safety evaluation of its proposed uses.
The foods we may soon find sweetened with stevia include: breakfast cereals, beverage mixes, desserts and dessert mixes, fillings, yogurt, breath fresheners and chewing gum, fruit spreads, purées and sauces, table syrup; peanut and other nut spreads, salad dressings and other condiments, and candy – mmmmmm.
Health Canada’s evaluation of the three submissions it received focused on safety and efficacy, a chemical assessment (which I won’t bore you with) and a nutritional assessment. Health Canada considered Canadians’ likely exposure to stevia based on its proposed uses and typical food consumption patterns.
At the end of the day, Health Canada determined “there are no health or safety concerns associated with the use of [stevia] in the prescribed applications”. Health Canada is accepting comments on its proposed approval of stevia until October 14, 2012.
Assuming stevia is approved as proposed, what new stevia-filled food or beverage do you think will hit the Canadian grocery shelves first and which are you most excited to see? Read For the Law of Food Blog