An Introduction to stevia

    The sweet leaf “Stevia rebaudiana bertoni” was discovered in 1908, but only until 1931 Briel and Lavielle managed to identify Stevioside as basic sweeteners. From the leaves of Stevia, people manage to extract 11 compounds, possessing various sweetness such as: Rebaudioside A and B, Stevioside…etc… Stevioside is heat-stable and range in sweetness from 40 to 300 times sweeter than sucrose, but it is not harmful for health. Stevioside is widely used in various countries such as Paraguay, Brazil, Japan, USA, German, Southern Korea, Russia, Ukraine, China …etc… Stevioside can be used as medicine for treating diabetes patients, preventing atherosclerosis, fighting obesity, preventing tooth decay, preventing throat cancer …etc… In the field of food industry, Stevioside is widely used as additives to produce confectionary, wines and soft drinks …etc…

   The first sweet leaves, which were brought to Vietnam in 1988 year, were originated from Argentina. These seeds later were delivered by Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry (VIR), Ukraine Sugar Beet Production Association and Vietnamese people in Canada. From those ingredients, Vietnamese – Russian Plants Research Centre, Institute of Agricultural Scientific Technology under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry had conducted propagation and selection, collaborating with Institute of Medicine, HCM City National Phytopharma Company No. 2, Dalat Medical Plants Centre, Hanoi Central Pharmaceutical Firm No. 2, National Institute of Nutrition, Vietnam Institute of Agricultural Scientific Technology and Institute of Biology. Vietnam Science Institute had conducted experiments on propagation, cultivation and processing. The results showed that Stevia possess the ability to adapt to various ecological regions of Vietnam, such as Song Be, Lam Dong, Dac Lac, Hanoi, Ha Tay, Hoa Binh, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai …etc…


Vu Tuyen Hoang

Deputy Minister of Agricultural and Food Industry

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