Have you ever wondered how stevia, the green sweet plant goes through the incredible journey from the vibrant green leaves to the fine white powder on your table?
CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING
It all starts in the fields where stevia plants are carefully cultivated. The sweet secret lies in the leaves, which contain compounds called steviol glycosides that give stevia its sweet taste. These plants thrive in warm climates, but Stevia Hellas Coop is known for its commitment to sustainable farming practices that enhance the product's quality and the environment.
Harvesting is an art that requires precision. Stevia leaves are usually at their sweetest peak just before flowering. Handpicked leaves ensure that only the best parts of the plant are chosen for processing, maintaining the premium quality of the final product.
After harvesting, the leaves embark on the next phase of their journey. They are carefully cleaned and sorted, to remove dirt and residues. Once cleaned and sorted, the leaves undergo a gentle drying process, which helps preserve their natural sweetness. The dried leaves are then crushed into smaller pieces, preparing them for the extraction process.
The extraction process is where the stevia leaves are transformed into a sweet infusion, rich in steviol glycosides. This infusion is then filtered to remove any solid particles, leaving behind a liquid that holds the sweet essence of stevia.
Purification and Concentration
To transform the liquid extract into the familiar white powder, purification, and concentration are crucial. Various methods, such as precipitation and chromatography, are employed to isolate the steviol glycosides from the liquid. The result is a concentrated solution that forms the foundation for the next step.
The concentrated solution undergoes a process that encourages the steviol glycosides to form crystals. These crystals are then separated from the remaining liquid and thoroughly washed to remove impurities. The crystals are dried, resulting in a crystalline substance with intense sweetness.
Blending and Packaging
While some stevia products retain the pure, white stevia powder, proper for Industrial use, while others are blended with natural bulking agents to create a more granulated form, such as erythritol. These blends offer convenience and ease of use, making them perfect for measuring and incorporating into recipes.
The final step involves packaging the stevia sweetener, ready to be a delightful addition to your favorite foods and beverages.