Erba Dolce Stevia Natural Sweetener FAQ
ALL ABOUT ERBA DOLCE STEVIA
Some stevias have a bitter after taste. Erba Dolce does not. Why?
There are two reasons why Erba Dolce has no bitter aftertaste: The first is the method of processing. While Chinese and Korean factories traditionally use chemicals in their extraction and bleaching processes, Erba Dolce uses a physical process of molecular filtration specifically designed to separate the compounds that cause a bitter aftertaste. In this process there are no chemicals added, therefore the final product is totally natural with an excellent flavor.
The second reason is the stevia variety grown in Colombia. This variety is called Morita and was improved by the Japanese starting from Paraguay’s Bertoni stevia. The stevia rebaudiana has two main molecules: stevioside and rebaudioside A. The first one, stevioside, is both sweet and bitter. The second one, rebaudioside A, is only sweet. The more rebaudioside A in the leaf, the sweeter it is, with a less bitter aftertaste. The Morita variety has a very high level of rebaudioside A, so it has a cleaner, sweeter taste and a lower bitter aftertaste. The Bertoni variety favored in China, Korea, Brazil and Paraguay has a high level of stevioside, but a much lower level of rebaudioside A.
How much Erba Dolce is needed to replace the sweetness of sugar? For example, how much Erba Dolce should I use to replace the equivalent sweetness found in one teaspoon of sugar?
Each sachet of Erba Dolce is equivalent to two teaspoons of sugar.
Can you bake with Erba Dolce? If a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, how much Erba Dolce would you need to replace the sugar?
Yes, Erba Dolce can be used to bake. Stevia does not change its characteristics or sweetening capacity because of high temperatures. For baking, the weight (amount) of sugar required must be divided in 12; the result is the amount of stevia that should be used. For instance, if the recipe calls for one cup (16 tablespoons) then they should use 1 and 1/3 tablespoons of stevia (16/12=1.33).
Please note: because stevia does not have the same volume as sugar, that volume needs to be replaced with the other ingredients in the recipe.
What other countries permit the use stevia as a sweetener? For how many years have they been using it?
Countries such as Japan, China, Korea, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Panama, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Central America all use Stevia as a sweetener. In Paraguay and Brazil it has been used for centuries and in Japan for over 5 decades.
Does Erba Dolce raise blood glucose levels?
No. The compounds of Erba Dolce do not require the production of insulin in order to be absorbed, therefore, the blood glucose levels remain stable.
Is Erba Dolce suitable for diabetics?
Yes. The compounds of Erba Dolce do not require the production of insulin to be absorbed; therefore, its use is safe for diabetics. There are several studies that show the effects of stevia in type 2 diabetics: its permanent consumption helps to normalize blood sugar levels.
In Colombia, Erba Dolce is the only brand guaranteed by the Colombian Diabetes Association. There are other comparative studies that show Stevia is in fact, the only good sweetener for diabetics.
Does Erba Dolce have the same effects on teeth (tooth decay) as does regular sugar?
No. While regular sugar adheres directly and is a nourishing source for bacteria found inside the mouth, stevia does not constitute a source for them. One of the main properties of stevia is that it is a bactericide; in its presence there is no bacteria growing so it is also considered as an anti decay product. In Japan there are various toothpaste brands containing stevia as an anti decay product.
Why do you use maltodextrin as a carrying agent for Erba Dolce?
Stevia extract itself, without any carrying agent is very difficult to dose. Maltodextrin is a natural cereal extract used as a vehicle because it gives less calories than any other agent used in the market (dextrose, sucrose) and requires minimum amounts of insulin to be absorbed.
Maltodextrin is a universal carrying agent used in the production of all kinds of food, such as powder milk, frozen meat, sauces, among others. It is very hard to find in the market another product as neutral and soluble as Maltodextrin.
Does maltodextrin have any side effects—good or bad?
There are no side effects known. It is even used in powder milk drying process and baby food preparations.
What is the percentage of maltodextrin in Erba Dolce?
In the fabrication process of Erba Dolce, it is used a spray drying machine in which a pure liquid extract of stevia is apply onto maltodextrin; as a result the liquid becomes tiny stevia crystals that cover maltodextrin grains. Due to the kind of process and the equivalences of stevia in terms of sweetening capacity versus physical volume, it is difficult to determine the precise quantity of stevia. For Erba Dolce, 85% is maltodextrin and 15% is concentrated stevia extract.
Does extreme heat or cold have any effect on Erba Dolce?
No. Erba Dolce is stable at both high and low temperatures.
Is Erba Dolce an all natural product? Could you briefly describe how Erba Dolce is produced?
Yes. Erba Dolce is produced through purely physical processes (no chemicals) using natural raw materials that allow to obtain a 100% natural product. The process includes the following stages:
Extraction: using osmosis water (purified).
Thick micro filtration and molecular filtration (TFF, Tangential Flow Filtration): using cellulose filters (vegetal material).
Concentration: water reduction by evaporation.
Drying and mixing: using a spray drying machine over a maltodextrin base, it is obtained a granulated powder that will be packed in sachets and containers.
Could you explain a little bit about the stevia plant, where it grows, how it is cultivated and harvested?
Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is an herbaceous plant native to Amambai, in the border line between Brazil and Paraguay where is known as KAA-HE-E (native language). It is a small shrub that reaches between 2.62 feet and 3.28 feet of maximum height.
The importance of this specie lies in the production of a non caloric sweetener, from 300 to 400 times sweeter than sugar. It is our warm weather and long growing season that provides the best quality leaves. Growing conditions include rich but sandy soil, plenty of water and lots of sunshine that provides up to 3 harvests per year in Paraguayan and Brazilian territories.
The stevia variety growth in Colombia is called Morita (Stevia Rebaudiana Morita) and its propagation is made through stalk fragments while Bertoni variety is made through seeds. In Colombia it reaches 6 harvests per year.
Does Erba Dolce grow its own stevia or do they buy it from local farmers?
Erba Dolce buys stevia leaves from locally contracted farmers. Most of the crops are grown as part of a governmental program to provide new opportunities and better social programs for the workers.
What makes Erba Dolce superior to other stevia products?
Erba Dolce tastes exactly as the natural stevia leaf. The production method is completely natural and Morita variety is the best leaf known so far. The carrying agents we use are GMO free providing a finished product with the best taste and highest quality available.
What makes this stevia different then the ones I currently use…is it price, taste, fair-trade, organic, etc?
The farmers with whom we contract handle clean crops and some of them have already received organic certifications. Morita’s leaf, as explained before, has the highest sweetness level and the lower bitterness because of rebaudioside A. One of Erba Dolce’s current suppliers is now Fair Trade certified.
Regarding price, Erba Dolce is not the least expensive because it is artisan made. Other brands in the market with lower prices use stevia extracts from China which often make them less expensive but leave a bitter, chemical aftertaste.
Erba Dolce is a natural product made of the best quality stevia leaves guaranteeing an excellent taste; as mentioned before, these leaves are grown by local farmers as part of governmental programs that help them have new opportunities.
What are the best uses for stevia?
Erba Dolce Stevia is ideal to be added to hot or cold foods and drinks consumed daily. It has a wonderful synergy with any kind of tea. Stevia is a flavor enhancer; it improves the flavor of fruit juices and teas and can be used in food preparations such as desserts, cookies, ice creams, etc.
Is there any added value (fiber, vitamins, etc) ?
Dried stevia leaves contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, fluoride, zinc, selenium, cobalt and proteins. Some of the compounds such as vitamin A and C are sensitive to the high temperatures used in the extraction process, but many of the other compounds are retained.
Why is stevia a supplement? How is it good for you?
Stevia is a dietary supplement only for the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico because of FDA regulations. In other countries it is used as a food, in the sweeteners category. The reason for the current status of stevia in the U.S. is the lobbying efforts of the sugar and chemical sweetener producers to restrict the entry of stevia to this country and therefore eliminating the competition.
Erba Dolce complements the diet of people who want to live a healthy life style. Erba Dolce is all natural and healthy.
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