Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center P.O. Box 198, Shashemene, Ethiopia
Low caloric sweeteners have been investigated to substitute sugar as an advantage for both nutritional and medicinal purpose. These sugar substitutes are interesting particularly for concepts marketed under a natural claim. Among these, Stevia rebaudiana is a small shrub; its leaves are used as a sweetener. Serial dilution of the hot water Crude extract of S. rebaudiana leaves and aqueous solution of table sugar were subjected to test the panelist in order to choose their preferable sweetening level from both solutions independently. After their reaction, the stevia and sugar ratio were corresponded for individual panelist perception. The nutritional composition also analyzed. Majority of the panelist preferred 2.5 mg/mL stevia solution and 50 mg/mL sugar solution for sweetening. This ratio shows 1 g of stevia is equivalent with 20 g of sugar. The nutrient composition analysis results also indicated that stevia rebaudiana is a good source of calcium, potassium, sodium, Iron and phosphorus. As conclusion hot water crude extract of stevia is 20 times sweetener than sugar with be full of good minerals when using as sweetener in different foods and drinks.