John Fry, principal consultant to Cargill Health and Nutrition spoke to ConfectioneryNews.com shortly after his presentation on stevia at ProSweets’ Conference on Ingredients in Cologne, Germany.
Fry said that stevia confectionery in the US had not really taken off, but there was greater scope in the EU after the naturally-derived sweetener was approved as a novel food in the EU in December last year.
He said that stevia went extraordinarily well with mint flavours, but manufacturers would need to cater to market tastes in particular countries. He gave the example of stevia-based liquorice candy for the Netherlands and breath mints for the UK.
According to Fry, Rebaudioside A is the best tasting steviol glycoside for confectionery products
He added that confectioners looking to introduce products containing the sweetener to the market, must have a strong grasp of the maximum levels permitted and would need a sound knowledge of the solubility and stability characteristics of the extract.