All about Stevia Products

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Where does Nirvana Stevia come from?

Nirvana Stevia is extracted from the Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni plant. The leaves of the stevia plant have been used for centuries in Brazil and Paraguay to sweeten food and drinks. Stevia has been embraced as a sugar substitute and food additive in many countries around the world. Steviol Glycosides, which are the sweetening properties extracted from the Stevia plant, are now an approved intense sweetener.

Do Nirvana Stevia products contain any harmful additives?

NO. There are no harmful additives. Nirvana Stevia uses only the highest quality, best tasting Certified Organic Stevia. Nirvana Stevia has NO: calories, sugar, artificial sweeteners, fat, wheat, yeast, soy, milk derivatives, artificial colourings and no toxic chemicals.

Does Nirvana Stevia taste good?

Yes. Most people love the taste of good quality Stevia. High quality Stevia, like that used in Nirvana Stevia does NOT have the grassy or slightly bitter after taste that has been reported in some other Stevia products on the market.

Is Nirvana Stevia allergy friendly?

YES! Our Stevia is free of tree nuts, peanuts, egg, dairy, gluten and soy and the facility where our product is packaged does not process, package or manufacture any of these ingredients, so there are no trace elements. As a result, our products are very popular with those who suffer from a wide variety of allergies. As with all allergies, however, if in any doubt please consult your doctor.

How much Nirvana Stevia should I use?

In it’s natural extract form, Stevia is many times sweeter than sugar – so you need far less to get to your preferred level of sweetness. To help you use the correct amount, Nirvana Stevia is available in powder, tablet and liquid form so you don’t have to worry about using too much.

Our Stevia powder comes with a convenient mini scoop (1/35th tsp), approximately equalling one teaspoon of sugar, so now using the perfect amount of Stevia is easier than ever before! We even have convenient pocket size containers that are easy to carry in your handbag or pocket, so you never have to worry about being without your favourite Nirvana Stevia product.

Is Nirvana Stevia suitable for people who need to monitor and manage blood sugar levels?

Yes. Unlike sugar, Stevia does not trigger a rise in blood sugar levels. You do not get a sudden burst of energy followed by fatigue and the subsequent need for another “fix”. Studies suggest that Stevia has a regulatory effect on the pancreas and could help stabilize blood sugar levels in the body. If in any doubt please consult your doctor.

What is the best Nirvana Stevia product for use in cooking?

For easy measuring and cooking with Stevia, we have introduced our new Stevia Slim Spoonable Powder. Blended with Erythritol (the most superior naturally derived sugar substitute that looks and tastes very much like sugar), one teaspoon of our Stevia Spoonable equals the sweetness of two teaspoons of sugar – making it ideal of cooking delicious treats, including pastries, cakes, biscuits, muffins and pancakes or for flavouring desserts like ice-cream and custard.

You can even create your own natural, sugar-free drinks and health shakes. Our Powdered and Liquid Extracts are also fantastic and easy to use for all your cooking needs.

Why are preservatives used in Nirvana Stevia Drops?

Preservatives are needed to give a liquid product the required shelf life and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

As preservatives are needed and the Nirvana team have chosen not to use nasty chemical preservatives, they selected the most natural alternatives available that will give the product the recommended 18-24 months shelf life and stability. For the standard Nirvana Stevia liquid products, Nirvana gives consumers an option of stevia liquids using natural preservatives ‘such as Ascorbic acid etc.’ (15 and 30ml bottles) and a liquid using food grade alcohol as a preservative (50ml glass bottles).

Some consumers have food intolerances to even natural preservatives as ascorbic acid and are fine with food grade alcohol. It has approximately the same percentage alcohol as your standard homeopathics. Nirvana Stevia liquids are tested on a regular basis in a laboratory to establish that no harmful bacteria are present ie; E.coli. These tests are carried out to comply with Australian Food Standards.

Nirvana initially began formulating the flavoured stevia liquids using the natural preservatives, however it soon became evident that the natural preservatives actually interfered with taste of the flavours. Research has shown that either chemical preservatives or food grade alcohol are used for preserving flavoured Stevia liquid products.

What grade stevia does Nirvana use in the tablets?

Nirvana Organics Stevia extract powder is 100% pure ACO Cerified Organic stevia extract (labelled as steviol glycosides – which comply with Food Standards labelling code).

We do not need to specify which grade or grades unless specifically selling different grades (e.g Reb a 40%, Reb A 60% etc.)

The exact formula/process of creating Nirvana Organics Stevia extract is part of our guarded intellectual property.

What are the grades of Stevia Nirvana uses and sells in bulk?

We currently can supply 2 different grades of Stevia extract powders in bulk quantities, both are ‘ACO’ Australian certified organic and both these grades are water soluble.

We can supply certified organic Reb A 40% Stevia extract powder which is approximately 290 sweeter than sugar and also certified organic non-bitter Stevia extract powder which is approximately 150 times sweeter than sugar.

We have sourced and used higher grades of Reb A (such as Reb A 60, 80 and even 97%) for our manufacturing, however the higher grades of non-bitter Reb A extracts have gone through additional extraction processes which alters their stability (especially when used in liquid products).

Where is Nirvana Organic Stevia sourced from?

Nirvana Stevia extract powder is “Australian Certified Organic”. We source our Stevia from the only accredited source recognized by ACO. We manufacture, blend and or package our Stevia products in-house at Mount Barker, SA and our premises are ACO and HACCP accredited.

Our ACO Certified Organic Stevia extract powder is sourced from China where the plants are grown and processed under strict control by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM). International IFOAM inspectors monitor crop production and processing by taking random samples for analysis. In Australia our Stevia extract powder is certified organic by Australian Certified Organic (ACO) as part of IFOAM regulations. Nirvana Health Products undergoes a rigorous audit procedure to comply with ACO ORGANIC CERTIFICATION.

Actually to our knowledge there is only currently only 2 places in the world where it is produced certified organically, (both in China remote areas). Actually several years ago, it could only be sourced from one source (that is certified organic), however ACO did not approve it. We totally believe that there is no cleaner source of Stevia extract then our current source and that our quality and purity of Stevia is of the highest grade which we have certification to support.

Originally – 14 years ago we sourced our Stevia from Paraguay, one of the countries that Stevia plants are native to. This Stevia plantation in South America was controlled and operated by a United States company who later informed us that they actually ship the stevia leaves to Asian countries to be processed and ship back to the US and then ship to us in Australia.

It appears that the processing of Stevia leaves to a good quality and good tasting extract is too expensive for most western countries (commercial scale quantities). Even Stevia that is grown in some northern regions of Australia cannot as this stage be processed in Australia. Maybe it will change in the future!

What is the difference between Stevia Slim range and original Stevia range?

Our Stevia Slim range was produced primarily for a supermarket retailer or smaller retailer where only a small product range is usually requested and/ or customers are accustomed to a blended sweetener product. To compliment this powder range, we also included a small tablet product and 1 Stevia liquid product (which is identical to the original).

Stevia Slim tablets are smaller in size. The sweetness of a Stevia Slim tablet has approximately the equivalent sweetness to 4g of sugar (1 level tsp), whereas our Nirvana original tablets has approximately the equivalent sweetness to 7g of sugar (1 heaped tsp).

Nirvana Organics pure Stevia extract powder is 100% pure Stevia powder only. It is very concentrated. A tiny scoop provided (1/35th of a tsp). Whereas Nirvana organics Stevia Slim Spoonable is an easy measure spoonable blend – Stevia extract blended with Erythritol (see below for more info)

One teaspoon of our Stevia Spoonable™ equals the sweetness of two teaspoons of sugar.

What is and why is erythritol used in Stevia Slim powder?

Stevia extract powder (a natural herbal extract) is considered an alternative to artificial sweeteners as it is very concentrated (100 plus x sweeter than sugar). Erythritol (a sugar alcohol derived from natural sources) is more of an alternative to sugar as it looks and taste more like sugar and can be used like sugar (it is 80% as sweet as sugar). Both are suitable for people who need to manage or monitor their blood sugar levels. Stevia has zero calories whereas erythritol has only a few calories per serve.

Our regular Stevia powder is 100% pure Stevia extract (ACO certified organic) with nothing added. It is very concentrated. Stevia Slim Spoonable is an ‘easy measure’ Stevia sweetener blend (less than half a calorie per serve). The only reason we have blended the erythritol with the Stevia is to create an easier measure Stevia blend. Stevia is considered more natural than erythritol and our pure Stevia extract powder products are more economical than the Stevia Spoonable.

Why is Liquid Stevia discoloured?

Nirvana 50ml Stevia liquid and flavoured liquids in glass bottles are preserved with food grade alcohol, due to some highly sensitive/allergic individuals who cannot tolerate other preservatives including even some natural preservatives. This liquid will appear clear in colour for the pure Stevia liquid.

Nirvana 15ml and 30ml Stevia liquids in plastic bottles are preserved with Ascorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate. This liquid will have a slight brown tinge due to the preserving ingredients. This Stevia liquid is naturally light yellow in colour. The browning effect is probably due to slight oxidation. The contributing factors would include the age of the product, storage conditions and how many times the lid has been opened. As long as it is not past its best before date and has not been subject to storage temperatures greater than 30 degree C, it will remain stable.

What is the Stevia Extraction Process?

Stevia extract powder (called steviol glycosides) is extracted via a certified organic process from certified organically grown Stevia plant leaves. A specialised water and filtration process is used for the extraction of these steviol glycosides. The Stevia extract powder used in all of our products is Certified Organic by Australian Certified Organic (ACO).

Are all Nirvana Stevia products wheat-free?

Nirvana pure Stevia powder, liquid concentrate and tablets are wheat free.

We can confirm that our 100% pure Stevia extract powder has absolute no additives and is 100% Australian Certified Organic Stevia powder only.

One of the excipients used in manufacturing of the tablets is derived from Non GMO Tapioca starch.

I am a diabetic, can I use Stevia?

Stevia is renowned as an excellent sugar-replacement for diabetics. The main goals of diabetes management are to control blood glucose, lipids and weight. Xylitol is a low Glycaemic sweetener (Zero GI), and is slowly absorbed and metabolized independently of insulin. Stevia does not cause a dramatic increase in blood-sugar levels or serum-insulin responses, and therefore many health practitioners suggest Stevia as a sugar-free sweetener for their diabetic clients.

Stevia also has Zero calories and has been suggested as a valuable aid in assisting diabetics with weight control. A word of warning, however, – some Stevia on the market is not 100% pure, and may be blended with other ingredients that may be higher in calories and carbohydrates, making them unsuitable for diabetics. Nirvana Stevia® on the other hand, is pure and natural and has a Zero GI.

As with any serious medical conditions, however, if in doubt please consult your health practitioner before incorporating Stevia into your daily diet, and be sure to continually monitor your blood-sugar levels.

I am following a low fat, low carb diet. Is Nirvana Stevia suitable?

Yes! With Zero Fat, Zero Carbs, Zero GI and Zero Calories, our Stevia is a perfect, naturally derived sweetener. With far fewer calories than sugar, Stevia is a valuable tool in the fight against obesity, or for anyone following weight management programs. Enjoy the delicious, sweet taste, without the worries!

Can Nirvana Stevia replace sugar in my diet?

Yes. Refined sugar is virtually devoid of nutritional benefits and, at best, represents empty calories in the diet. At worst, sugar has been implicated in some degenerative diseases. For example, we are all aware of the dramatic increase in the incidence of excess body fat – in both adults and children.

I am following an anti-Candida meal plan, can I use Nirvana Stevia?

While sugars promote and feed the growth of oral yeast infections and thrush, it has been suggested in many studies that sugar-free Stevia may actually have anti-fungal properties, thereby reducing both the incidence and severity of thrush. As with all medical problems and for those following strict meal plans, however, please consult your health practitioner for more information.

Has Stevia been used in cooking and baking?

Yes. Stevia has been used in cooking in South America for centuries. Whilst Stevia has grown in popularity in many countries around the world, it is Japan that represents and interesting example. Apparently artificial sweetners, such as aspartame, have been banned in Japan for over 30 years. Natural Stevia is being used in over 30% of the country’s food products. Stevia has been used in Japan in several major packaged-goods brands.

Can I use Nirvana Stevia in my cooking at home?

As Stevia does not weigh the same as sugar, you may need to add some bulking agents to your recipes, such as yogurt, apple sauce, fruit juice, fruit puree, egg whites, or water, to give your desserts the same density as their sugar-filled counterparts.

As Stevia sweetener qualities can be up to 180% sweeter (1 heaped tsp pure extract = 1 c sugar) than sugar, Stevia will not have the same bulking properties of sugar.

Unlike some other sweeteners, Stevia is heat stable and mixes and dissolves in a remarkably similar fashion to sugar. Stevia does not, however, caramelize as sugar does and desserts like meringues may also be difficult to achieve as Stevia does not brown or crystallize as sugar does. Foods baked with Stevia may not rise as much as those cooked with sugar, and it cannot ferment yeast as sugar does.

Does Nirvana Stevia have preserving properties for housemade sauces?

You can use Nirvana 100% Pure Stevia powder in your homemade sauces, however it does not have the same preserving properties as sugar.

The sweetness of one heaped teaspoon of Nirvana 100% Pure Stevia powder is approximately equivalent to the sweetness of one cup of sugar.

Can Nirvana Stevia strength differ between batches?

All of our labels list the ingredients of the product. Our 100% pure Stevia extract powder is labelled as Pure Stevia powder and contains no other additives. Our stevia extract powder is ACO ‘AUSTRALIAN CERTIFED ORGANIC” and we are HACCP certified and regularly audited by both certifying bodies. The Stevia strength does slightly vary from batch to batch as it is a natural harvested product, however it should not be significant.

Why Is Stevia Extract White in Colour?

Green Stevia powder is the entire green leaf and is not suitable as a sweetener due to its bitter grassy taste. We have 100% Pure Stevia Extract Powder. The Stevia extract (steviol glycosides) is naturally whitish in colour (not bleached).

Food Standards actually approved the sweetening properties of the Stevia Leaf (steviol glycosides – the extract of Stevia) as the sweetener, not stevia itself. You will notice Steviol glycosides written on the front of our label and in our nutritional panel and ingredient list.

Why are the Stevia powders not filled the top of the containers?

Our methods of filling all our containers are strict and in accordance with all Food Standards Australia labelling requirements. It is our policy to put approximately 5-10% additional product into our packaging. We use a sophisticated auger machine to fill our containers each of which is check weighed on accurate calibrated scales.

We enclose a small measuring scoop to assist with ensuring correct serving amounts (1 heaped scoop = 1 heaped tsp sugar), the length of the scoop just fits into the container.

Stevia powder by its nature is a light and “fluffy” product and compacts after settling – yes, it really does. When we fill the container, we need these sizes of container in order to accommodate the initial volume of this light powder. With handling and transportation, it is conceivable that the powder will compact.

We regularly check our Stevia powder containers after filling and even one that has stood on the shelf for a short period of time is found to have compacted considerably. There is no intended dishonesty or deceit on our part because as I stated before, our filling procedures are strictly controlled by Food Standards Australia & NZ and our HACCP food safety program.

Our Stevia powder is the highest grade organically certified product available and we take great pride in selling it through our distributors. We supply only 100% PURE organic stevia powder that is not mixed with any other ingredients and because of this there is an inherent problem with compaction.

Is Nirvana Stevia suitable for those following a FODMAP diet?

Yes- Nirvana Stevia range and the Stevia Slim tablets are suitable for those following a low FODMAP diet. However, Stevia Slim Spoonable contains erythritol and wouldn’t be the best alternative as it is still a sugar alcohol.

I am finding that the tablets are difficult to dissolve in my coffee?

Our tablets are water soluble, not fat soluble as we use only natural ingredients. It is advisable to put into hot water prior to adding milk for best results. We also have Stevia liquid and pure Stevia powder (which includes a tiny measuring scoop) which dissolve almost immediately.

What are the equivalent stevia quantities compared with sugar?

Sugar Amount Stevia Powder Extract Stevia Liquid Concentrate
2 cups 3 level teaspoons 2 teaspoons
1 cup 1 1/2 level teaspoons 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup 3/4 level teaspoons 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 cup 3/8 level teaspoons 1/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon 1/8 level teaspoon 12 to 16 drops
2 teaspoon 1/16 level teaspoon 6 to 8 drops
1 teaspoon A pinch to 1/32 level teaspoon 3 to 4 drops

Are Nirvana Stevia products vegan friendly?

We can confirm that the our Stevia products are all suitable for those following a vegan diet/lifestyle.

Do Nirvana Liquid Stevia Flavours contain Agave?

No Nirvana Stevia Liquid Concentrate does not contain agave nor does any of our other products.

What type of flavours are used for your Liquid Stevia Flavours?

At Nirvana we endeavour to use only all natural ingredients where possible. The majority of flavours used in our manufacturing are 100% natural flavours and or WONF (with other natural flavours) natural flavouring substances. These natural flavour substances represent the actual flavour stated. The actual ingredients that comprise these natural ‘WONF’ flavours are rarely disclosed by the supplier/manufacturer of the flavours as this forms part of their intellectual property.