Stevia (/ˈstiːvɪə/, /ˈstiːvjə/ or /ˈstɛvɪə/) is a sweetener and sugar substitute made from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations. With its steviol glycoside extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar; stevia has attracted attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar sweeteners. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose it is attractive to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.

The availability of stevia varies from country to country. In a few countries, it has been available as a sweetener for decades or centuries; for example, it has been widely used for decades as a sweetener in Japan. In some countries health concerns and political controversies have limited its availability; for example, the United States banned stevia in the early 1990s unless labeled as a dietary supplement, but since 2008 it has accepted several specific glycosides extracts as being generally recognized as safe for use as food additives. Over the years, the number of countries in which stevia is available as a sweetener has been increasing. In 2011, stevia was approved for use in the EU.

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