Truvia

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Truvía is a stevia-based sugar substitute developed jointly by The Coca-Cola Company and Cargill. It is distributed and marketed by Cargill as a tabletop sweetener as well as a food ingredient.[1] Truvía is made of rebiana, erythritol, and natural flavors.[2] Because it comes from the stevia plant, Cargill classifies it as a natural sweetener in addition to being a non-nutritive sweetener.[3] Since its launch in 2008, Truvía has become the third best-selling sugar substitute in units in the United States, surpassing Merisant's Equal Low]].[4] The top-selling sugar substitute continues to be Splenda followed by Sweet'N Low..[5] Truvia competes with Stevia In The Raw, the #2 brand of stevia sweetener, and with PepsiCo's PureVia #3 brand of stevia-extract sweetener.

Tabletop sweetener[edit]

Truvia tabletop sweetener is marketed to consumers as a packet sweetener for food and beverages. This makes it a direct competitor to existing packet sweeteners Splenda (sucralose), Equal (aspartame), Sweet'n Low (saccharin), and table sugar. It is available in the United States in 40-ct, 80-ct, 140-ct, and 300-ct single-serve packages. It is also available in the U.S. in a 9.8 oz "spoonable" container that is the equivalent of an 80-ct box.[6] One packet of Truvia natural sweetener is said to provide the same sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar.[7]

Ingredients[edit]

Truvía's ingredients are erythritol (a sugar alcohol found naturally in small amounts in various fruits such as grapes and melons), stevia leaf extract and natural flavorings. [8]

Processing[edit]

Erythritol is a naturally-occurring substance found in many fruits; however, since it is present in such small amounts (less than .005% by weight) it is impractical to produce erythritol commercially simply by obtaining it through natural sources. Cargill manufactures Truvia’s erythritol by processing corn into a food grade starch which it then ferments with yeast to create glucose and then processes further to create erythritol.

Food ingredient[edit]

In addition to Truvia tabletop sweetener, Truvia is used as a food ingredient. The Truvia web site lists products that use Truvia as a sweetener, including flavors of Vitamin Water, Sprite Green, All Sport Naturally Zero, Blue Sky Free, Crystal Light Pure, Zevia soda, and some varieties of Odwalla juices.[9] Cargill sells a Truvía Baking Blend product as well that is a suitable sugar substitute for baking. The product states it contains less than a gram of sugar per 2 gram serving; however, the website states it contains a gram of sugar per serving.

Safety and health effects[edit]

Gastrointestinal side effects[edit]

Most of Truvía's side effects are related to erythritol which is a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are valuable as sweeteners since they cause little to no rise in blood glucose levels like sugar does. However, the downside to most sugar alcohols is their propensity to cause gastrointestinal side effects. Erythritol is unique in that among these compounds it has one of the most favorable nutritional profiles. Erythritol is almost as sweet as sucrose, is virtually non-caloric, and cannot be fermented by gut bacteria present in the small intestine. Per Truvía's website, up to 90% of erythritol is absorbed by the small intestine and excreted unchanged in the urine. Only a small amount of it will reach the large intestine where GI symptoms, like bloating, flatulence, and cramping usually originate.

Truvia's website claims:

Studies with erythritol show almost no side effects reported unless very high doses are consumed at a single sitting in liquid form on an empty stomach(Bornet FR 1996). It took at least 4 times the amount of erythritol to generate looser stools, compared with the level of sorbitol, a very commonly used and well tolerated sugar alcohol (Oku T 1996). One study gave the test subjects 1 gram per kilogram (1 kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds) for five days (Tetzloff W 1996). So a 220 pound person would be taking 100 grams of erythritol every day, or 33 packets of Truvia® natural sweetener. These doses are far beyond the expected daily use and were delivered in a way that is very unlike our normal eating pattern. However...a few study subjects reported cramping, noisy stomach churning or, more commonly, loose stool after consuming it. This pattern has been seen with many types of sugars and carbohydrates. There are just some people who may have a limit to how much they can consume without having mild, brief symptoms.[10]

Allergic reactions[edit]

Like all foods, it is possible to experience an allergic reaction to ingredients present in Truvia. Since stevia is an herb, Truvia may trigger a reaction in people sensitive to plants like ragweed, Ruth Winter warns in her book "A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients." [11]

In several clinical studies of Truvia, no difference in side effects were reported by groups consuming Truvia stevia leaf extract and groups taking a placebo.[12]

Controversy[edit]

Cargill, the manufacturer of Truvia, has had litigation brought against it in two separate class-action lawsuits in 2013. The suits claimed that Cargill was deceptive in its marketing of Truvia as a "natural" sweetener citing the fact that the stevia leaf extract and erythritol ingredients they used were "highly processed" and that erythritol, which composes the majority of the product, is manufactured using GMOs.[13][14] While the FDA has been generally ambiguous about its opinion of the use of "natural" as a qualifier for food, Cargill decided to settle out of court.

Availability in Europe[edit]

On July 4, 2011, the EU's Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health recommended the approval of high purity stevia extracts for use as a food ingredient throughout the EU.[15] Truvia is now available in major European supermarkets.

References[edit]

http://www.brucebradley.com/food/truvia-honestly-sweet-or-dishonestly-marketed/#sthash.UZxYVhqj.dpuf

External links[edit]