PureCircle Stevia Institute (PCSI) has made its debut at the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) 21st International Congress of Nutrition (ICN) taking place from October 15 - 20 in Buenos Aires.
PureCircle Stevia Institute (PCSI) has made its debut at the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) 21st International Congress of Nutrition (ICN) taking place from October 15 - 20 in Buenos Aires. PCSI, founded as the Global Stevia Institute in 2010, has an expanded mission to advance research and share leading, balanced, science-based information on the benefits of stevia related to nutrition and health in addition to two new core areas of research: ingredient and taste and agriculture.The Institute will continue to be governed by an international advisory board of experts, scientists and practitioners, and will focus on both education and research. PCSI is supported by PureCircle.At ICN, PureCircle Stevia Institute delivered three research presentations in collaboration with other partners representing its research pillars.The first discussed recent consumer survey data from multiple countries (e.g. US, UK, Germany, Brazil, etc.) on the awareness of various sweeteners and sentiment about stevia. Results reveal varying levels of consumer awareness across regions. Awareness consistently increases following regulatory approvals and launches of products. Of those consumers who are aware of stevia, the majority are said to view the ingredient positively, and generally more positively than both artificial sweeteners tested across all countries.The second presentation reviewed the advantages of sugar reduction with blends versus individual steviol glycosides. Stevia leaves contain over 40 steviol glycosides (SGs) which provide different sweetness and organoleptic properties. Rebaudioside A (Reb A) is one of the most abundant and has been the primary focus of stevia usage to date, but has some taste challenges. The presentation spoke to new sensory research that demonstrates that proprietary custom blends of stevia have a significantly better taste profile, are closer to that of sugar and are the preferred taste profile versus Reb A alone.The final presentation described what its authors said was a breakthrough research achievement on the genome sequencing of three stevia cultivars."These recent advances in research clearly demonstrate that stevia is positively viewed by consumers and, these new stevia innovations can make a meaningful contribution to reducing calories in foods and beverages without sacrificing taste. In addition, the possibilities with the sequencing of the genome are enormous," said Priscilla Samuel, Director of the PureCircle Stevia Institute. "We look forward to continuing to advance the science of stevia and educating all the various stakeholder communities globally, about the benefits of stevia."