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ACI AGRO SOLUTION

INTRODUCTION

ABOUT STEVIA


Stevia (STEVIA REBAUDIANA) leaves have functional and sensory properties superior to those of many other high potency sweeteners. Stevia is likely to become a major source of high potency sweetener for the growing natural food market in the future. Although Stevia can be helpful to anyone, there are certain groups who are more likely to benefit from its remarkable sweetening potential. These include diabetics, those interested in decreasing caloric intake, and children.

Origin of Stevia Rebaudiana is in central Paraguay where it grows near the ponds and streams in wild conditions. Native Paraguayans have been consuming this herb in large quantities for many centuries. It was only during early fifties that Japanese stumbled upon this unique herb and took it to Japan where they have developed many varieties of this wonderful herb for large scale cultivation The leaves of this plant are 30 times sweeter than sugar , with zero calories. Where as pure extract is 300 times sweeter than sugar.

Stevia Rebaudiana is a small perennial growing up to 65-80 cm tall, with sessile, oppositely arranged leaves. Different species of Stevia contain several potential sweetening compounds, with Stevia Rebaudiana being the sweetest of all. Stevia is a semi-humid subtropical plant that can be grown easily like any other vegetable crop even in the kitchen garden. The soil should be in the pH range of 6.5- 7.5; well-drained red soil and sandy loam soil. Saline soils should be avoided to cultivate this plant.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

PLANT AGRONOMY



Management of Stevia cultivation is yet to mature in many regions and cultivators are
still on a learning curve. While tolerant of most soil types, Stevia is normally grown on
a sandy loam or loam. Stevia occurs naturally on soils of pH 4 to 5, but thrives with soil
pH as high as 7.5. However, Stevia does not tolerate saline soils. Normally there is no
pest or disease incidence reported in this crop. Harvesting starts after 3rd-4th month of
plantation.

In India, Stevia cultivation is also looked upon as an opportunity to revitalise rural economies and tax incentives are being offered to take up cultivation. Bioved Research and Communication Centre (BRCC), UP, a centre which coordinates Stevia cultivation in the Northern State of Uttar Pradesh has reported that Indian climatic conditions suits Stevia cultivation due to ideal temperature conditions and the humidity ranging from 65-85 %. Scientific cultivation and careful selection of planting material can yield better returns in shorter times as compared to traditional crops according to Indian Stevia cultivators.Cultivation of stevia opens up new vistas for crop diversification and a viable
alternative to sugar cane in view of escalating cost of production due to extensive usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation requirements of sugarcane. Cultivation of stevia may be useful in the protection of environment, restoration of the health of soil, and revitalize the rural economy.



SAFETY ISSUES 
Since the 70’s, Stevia has been used in Japan as the main alternative to sugar instead
of the banned aspartame in diet soda, gum and other food and beverages. Stevia is
also used as a sweetener in other countries after extensive studies proved its safety.
Stevia has been used with success to treat many ailments including diabetes, high blood pressure, gingivitis, digestion ailments, and addictions, topically for acne and other skin ailments and also as a wonderful weight loss aid. Stevia provides several advantages over sugar and artificial sweeteners when used in food production, lower costs for transportation, storage/warehousing and handling charges:
In 2006, the World Health Organization evaluated Stevia and found no evidence of carcinogenicty in Stevioside and Rebaudioside A. It also reported that Stevioside
led to beneficial effects in patients with hypertension or with type-2 diabetes. The report concluded that further study was needed to determine proper dosage. 


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Pradeep Sharma, ( Director ),

ACI Agro Solution,

ACI AGRO SOLUTION is an ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System With HACCP, ISO 9001:2008 & Organic certified Co.
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