A sweet compound of the glycoside class obtained from the leaves of a Paraguayan shrub and used as a food sweetener.
- The shrub is Stevia rebaudiana (family Compositae).
- The substances responsible for the plant's sweetness are chemicals called glycosides, primarily one dubbed stevioside, which are concentrated in the leaves.
- The green leaves of this plant contain large amounts (up to 5 percent of dry weight) of stevioside, a sweetener estimated to be 300 times as sweet as table sugar.
- In the past 10 years, the United States has three times vetoed applications to use stevioside as a food additive, and the agent has suffered the same fate in European Union, Canada and Singapore.
1930s: from the genus name Stevia (see stevia).
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