International Stevia Council

Speech from Food Ingredients Europe

Brussels, Belgium, 12 April 2012

Maria Teresa Scardigli, Executive Director of the International Stevia Council, gave a speech at Food Ingredients Europe Conference 2011 in Paris, France on 29 November 2011.

In her speech entitled “The European Union’s acceptance and approval of stevia as a food additive”, Scardigli provided an update on the status of the stevia approval at European level and she reviewed the different steps of the regulatory process that paved the way for the EU approval including the safety opinion on steviol glycosides issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The speech can be found here.

Scardigli also presented in details the requirements, the specifications and the labeling rules adopted by the European Commission for the commercialization of products sweetened by stevia and reviewed the food categories that have been approved by the EU and in which stevia can be used.

"EU approval is a major step forward for the stevia industry: The European market is soon to be opened to stevia sweetened products & the consumers are provided with an additional choice to sweeten their foods and beverages with calorie-free and new sweetener of a natural origin, stevia", - Maria Teresa Scardigli, Executive Director of the International Stevia Council

“FI Europe Conference was a high level event which attracted many people and I was very pleased by the number of attendees participating at the session on stevia. The audience was very interested on this new sweetener from natural origin and calorie-free and asked many questions related to the growing of the plan and the extraction of the steviol glycosides, about current and future applications of stevia in products in Europe and about the work of the International Stevia Council and its Proficiency Testing Program. After the Conference, I went to the FI Europe Trade Show and there the “buzz” word of the 2011 edition was “stevia”. Everybody was genuinely interested to stevia as possible solution to reduce calorie in food and beverage products”, - Maria Teresa Scardigli, Executive Director of the International Stevia Council

The International Stevia Council will be speaking at the forthcoming FI Europe Conference on Stevia on 12 April 2012 in London on:

Understanding the basics of stevia regulation in European F&B:

  • Exploring key requirements and considerations for the EU manufacturers
  • EU specifications and labelling surrounding the use of stevia in products
  • Discussing the use of the word ‘natural’ as legislated by European markets in relation to stevia-based products

Establishing robust testing practices:the Proficiency Testing program for steviol glycosides:

  • Understanding the need for the development of the ISC’s Proficiency Testing Programme
  • The results after the first year of tests: success factors and room for improvement
  • The plan for the future 
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