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Stevia approved for ‘energy-reduced’ candy in the EU

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By Oliver Nieburg+

09-Mar-2017
Last updated on 09-Mar-2017 at 10:41 GMT2017-03-09T10:41:36Z

Hard and soft sugar confectionery that has 30% reduced energy value compared to the original or a similar product can now use stevia in Europe. ©iStock/rsester
Hard and soft sugar confectionery that has 30% reduced energy value compared to the original or a similar product can now use stevia in Europe. ©iStock/rsester

Steviol glycosides have been approved for use in some ‘energy-reduced’ sugar confectionery in Europe, allowing manufacturers to combine the sweetener with sugar.

Previously ‘only confectionery with no added sugar’ could use stevia (E 960).

But the European Commission extended approved usage by amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on February 27.

‘Energy-reduced’

Under the revision, any ‘energy-reduced’ hard & soft confectionery, licorice, marzipan or nougat will be able to use steviol glycosides in the EU.

‘Energy-reduced’ applies to food with an energy value reduced by at least 30% compared with the original food or a similar product.

This will mean confectioners can combine stevia with sugar in these confectionery products, provided the product is ‘energy-reduced’.

Categories covered

The confectionery categories covered by the new rule are:

  • Breath freshening microsweets (at maximum level of 2 000 mg/kg).
  • Hard confectionery (candies and lollies)
  • Soft confectionery (chewing candies, fruit gums and foam sugar products/marshmallows)
  • Licorice
  • Nougat
  • Marzipan (at maximum level of 350 mg/kg)
  • Strongly flavored freshening throat pastilles (at maximum level of 670 mg/kg)

Chocolate was not among the list of energy-reduced confections.

The revised regulation will enter force on March 20, 2017.

Steviol glycosides were approved as a novel food in the EU in December 2011. Confectionery products such as Cavalier chocolate, Wrigley’s Extra Mints and some Haribo products have used the sweetener in Europe since the approval.

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