Researchers’ Life Cycle Assessment of steviol glycosides extracted from stevia showed that the production of this sweetener has a lower environmental impact than that of sugar in a number of ways. According to the study, stevia can provide the same level of sweetness as sugar while also having the ability to utilize less water and land.
Like sugar, many non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS), such as steviol glycosides, can simulate its flavor without negative health effects including tooth decay, obesity, or diabetes. They are much sweeter than sugar, which enables them to achieve this. Since steviol glycosides are 250 times sweeter than sugar, 4g of them, for example, have the same sweetness as 1,000g of sugar.
The use of steviol glycosides and similar natural chemicals could be good news for the health of our world, according to Dr. James Suckling, the study’s principal author who works at the University of Surrey’s Centre for Environment and Sustainability.
However, our study readily acknowledges that much more research is necessary to fully understand how steviol glycosides and other non-nutritive sweeteners affect health when included in a larger diet.
Reference: “Environmental life cycle assessment of the production of the high-intensity sweetener steviol glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana leaf grown in Europe: The SWEET project” by J. Suckling, S. Morse, R. Murphy, S. Astley, J. C. G. Halford, J. A. Harrold, A. Le-Bail, E. Koukouna, H. Musinovic, J. Perret, A.