Stevia is not a calorie panacea: regulatory scientist

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Stevia is best used to lower calories, rather than eliminate them
Stevia is best used to lower calories, rather than eliminate them

Related tags: Coca-cola, Nutrition

Natural sweetener stevia is best used to lower calorie content, rather than eliminate it, a regulatory scientist has claimed.

Helen Munday, Coca-Cola’s director of regulatory affairs, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the sweetener was challenging, but could be used to lower calories in drinks.

“Because of the complexities of working with it, it is – at least for the foreseeable future – not a panacea,” ​said Munday.

‘probably not the way to go’

“If you wanted to do a zero calorie product, stevia is still probably not the way to go. It’s very useful, but it’s not the end of reformulation and calorie reduction.”

Munday was speaking after the launch of Coca-Cola Enterprises’ (CCE’s) new 89kcal product Coca-Cola Life​ earlier this month.

CCE said the drink was a halfway-house between its original 139kcal Coca-Cola and its zero calorie offerings.

However, some campaign groups criticised the launch of Coca-Cola Life and accused CCE of encouraging people​ to consume more sugary drinks, which were contributing to dietary and health problems.

Listen to this podcast to hear Munday’s opinion on the future of stevia in the soft drink industry.

Meanwhile, the Food Manufacture Group is hosting a free one-hour webinar on obesity at 11am GMT on Thursday, July 3. Reserve your free place here​.

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