New labeling designation "steviol glycosides from stevia (E960a)" will help consumers better understand the ingredient's plant origin
19 November, 2021by
WAGRALIM, MALINGREAU Catherine
Many of you use stevia as a natural sweetener in your food formulations (beverages, chocolates, confectionery, ice creams, etc.)
Currently, consumer interest in stevia continues to grow as they seek to reduce fat, sugar and calories. This leads brands to adapt formulations to meet these trends.
New guidelines are needed
Steviol glycosides are the sweet-tasting components in the leaves of the stevia plant. The leaf contains at least ten unique steviol glycosides.
For these sweeteners, new labeling guidelines from the European Commission were recently published. Steviol glycosides (E 960) have been renamed "steviol glycosides from stevia (E960a)".
Indeed, the Commission published Regulation (EU) 2021/1156 amending Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the Annex of Commission Regulation (EU) No 231/2012 as regards steviol glycosides (E 960) and rebaudioside M, produced by enzymatic modification of steviol glycosides from Stevia.
This amendment follows a request in 2018 for a change in the E 960 specification to include a new method of producing rebaudioside M, present at a low percentage in Stevia leaves by enzymatic means.
The Commission had asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to give an opinion on this change in specification. EFSA concluded that the change does not pose a food safety concern.
The consequences for the food industry
The new labeling designation "Stevia steviol glycosides (E960a)" is intended to help consumers better understand the plant origin of the ingredient.
Thus, the new additive "Steviol glycosides obtained by enzymatic means" will be numbered according to the international numbering system for additives under the mark "E 960c".
As for the additive "E 960 Steviol glycosides", it is now replaced by "Steviol glycosides from Stevia", it will be numbered "E 960a".
Finally, foodstuffs containing the additive "E 960 Steviol glycosides" already labeled or placed on the market up to 18 months after the entry into force of this regulation, may be marketed until stocks are exhausted.
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