Stevia-sweetened strawberries: Does that idea sound scrumptuous?
In the world of low-calorie sweeteners, stevia is hot-hot-hot these days. It's a plant, so it's natural, and thus many consumers are more trusting of it than they are of artificial sweeteners cooked up in labs.
Stevia, 300 times sweeter than sugar, can currently be purchased as a supplement for use in sweetening, but one of its sweet chemicals, rebaudioside A, also has received "generally recognized as safe" -- or GRAS -- status as a food additive from the Food and Drug Administration.
Now some scientists in Brazil and the U.S. have come up with an interesting concoction: low-calorie, stevia-sweetened dried strawberries. First the scientists ultrasonically removed sugars naturally present in strawberries -- sucrose, fructose, glucose. Then they immersed the berries in stevia solution to restore some sweetness.
Don't look for this on your grocery shelf next week: This is still proof-of-concept lab work. It's a novel idea -- but it seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to.
Why not eat fresh fruit?
-- Rosie Mestel
Photo Credit: David Karp