Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 2, Issue 3&4,2004
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

The metabolism of stevioside by animals: Chickens and pigs


Johan Buyse 1,  Jan M. C. Geuns 2


Stevioside is the main sweet component in the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) and tastes about 300 times sweeter than sucrose¹. Stevia leaves, stevioside and stevia extracts are used as a natural sweetener in many countries of South America, North America, Japan, Korea and China. In these countries, powdered stevia leaves or refined extracts are accepted as a dietary supplement. The advantages of stevioside are manifold, it is noncalorific, preserves dental health as sugar intake is reduced and is beneficial for diabetic and phenylketonurea patients and obese subjects. However, in the European Union stevia leaves and stevioside are not approved to be used in the food chain. The present paper gives an overview of the in vivo and in vitro trials we conducted with high productive farm animal species: domestic chickens from different developmental stages (embryonic, growing, adult stage) and growing pigs in order to investigate the metabolism of stevioside and steviol. Furthermore, anaerobic incubations were performed with chickens and pig faeces to study the conversion of stevioside to steviol, and in vitro transport studies were carried out by using human Caco-2 monolayers.

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2004
Volume: 2
Issue: 3&4
Category: Research & News
Pages: 296-297

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