Truvia

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Truvia 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 and as a food ingredient.[1] Because it comes from the stevia plant, Cargill classifies it as a natural sweetener in addition to being a non-nutritive sweetener.[2] It is made of rebiana, erythritol, and natural flavors.[3] Since its launch in 2008, Truvia natural sweetener has become the second best-selling sugar substitute in the United States, surpassing both Merisant's Equal and Cumberland Packing Corporation's Sweet'n Low.[4] Nonetheless, the top-selling sugar substitute Splenda retains approximately 60% market share.[5] Truvia competes against PepsiCo's PureVia 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]

Ingredients are Erythritol (a sugar alcohol found naturally in small amounts in various fruits such as grapes and melons), Stevia Leaf Extract, and Natural Flavors. [8]

Processing[edit]

Erythritol is a naturally-occurring sweetener found in many fruits; in nature it is present in such small amounts (less than .005% by weight) it’s impractical to use natural sources. So Cargill manufacturers Truvia’s erythritol by processing corn into a food grade starch which it ferments to create glucose and then processes further to create erythritol.

Food ingredient[edit]

In addition to Truvia tabletop sweetener, it 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]

Safety and health effects[edit]

Gastrointestinal Side Effects[edit]

The most common side effects of Truvia are gastrointestinal in nature.[citation needed] This is more so due to the sugar alcohol erythritol than the rebiana extract, Marissa Lippert says in her book "The Cheater's Diet." These compounds tend to have a laxative effect as they are not completely metabolized or absorbed by the digestive system. Common side effects include diarrhea, bloating, gas, constipation and hard stools, Lippert notes.[10]

Truvia's own 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. [11]

Allergic Reactions[edit]

Like all foods, it is possible to experience an allergic reaction to ingredients present in Truvia. Since stevia is a herb, if you are sensitive to plants like ragweed, the rebiana in Truvia may trigger a reaction, Ruth Winter warns in her book "A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients." You may experience breathing difficulty, dizziness, flushing, swelling of the face, eyes or tongue, weakness, wheezing and cramping of the abdomen, which are all common symptoms of an allergic reaction, according to MedlinePlus. If these symptoms arise, you should seek emergency care immediately.[10]

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 manufacturers of Truvia, have been legally challenged in a Honolulu court on July 23, 2013 for their use of the term natural. The suit charges that the product is not a natural product.[13]

Availablity 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.[14] 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]