Taste is King
As we’re celebrating Earth Day today we thought we’d take a quick minute to discuss the importance of the quality of stevia plants to establish a good taste.
The stevia extract is a sweetener, just like sugar, however since it is so extremely sweet compared to sugar it needs to be correctly dosed to ensure a good taste. A very important quality of a sweetener, that is sometimes overlooked is the quality of taste. Besides just tasting sweet, a successful sweetener needs to have a rounded flavor profile. Much like how a good tasting wine or chocolate relies heavily on the quality of the berry and cocoa bean, so too is stevia reliant on high quality leaves. To ensure the highest quality of leaves we use fully sustainably sourced farming. Leaving a small climate footprint ensures regular stevia yields and gives our smallholder farmers a reliable income.
For stevia, taste is particularly important since it is so many times sweeter than traditional sweeteners like sugar. Compared to the Scoville scale (the heat measurement for chili peppers), where you can taste the increasing heat indefinitely as it gets hotter and hotter, with sweetness there is only one taste receptor on the tongue. Increasing the amount of sweetness will not result in a “super sweet” product, it will instead turn to varying degrees of bitterness of which the human body has 25 taste receptors for.
In many cases of stevia tasting bitter or “like liquorice” it is a result of either low quality steviol glycoside extraction, poor leaf quality, or an improper ratio of sweetener resulting in too much sweetness.
Two great examples where flavor profile and sweetness goes well in hand is the German ‘Guampa Energydrink’ and the Swedish ‘Hodells Kvargglass’ (Quark Ice Cream). You can find both in well-stocked grocery stores in their respective countries.