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                                                              Forms of Stevia Plant

Stevia can be used in many forms. Right from fresh green leaves to the finest of its extract, it can be consumed as per required sweetness. They are ...

♦ Fresh Green leaves
♦ Dried Leaves
♦ Liquid Concentrate
♦ Stevia Extracts


1• FRESH GREEN LEAVES

The fresh form of the herb is in its most natural and unrefined state. Fresh green stevia leaves plucked from the plant when chewed, imparts a very sweet taste with a 'liquorice' lingering after-taste which remains for quite a while.

2• DRIED LEAVES

If more sweetness and flavor is required, it is necessary to dry and crush the leaves. It is to be made sure that the leaves are rather 'de humidified' and not dried under direct sun light. In other words, the leaves have to remain green even when dried. The best way is to keep it under shade of dry them under a blow of hot, dry air.

Dried leaves could be either blended with herbal tea, cinnamon and ginger or could be used by itself as a brew. It could also be used in various food preparations such as sauces or added along with hot cereals.

3• LIQUID CONCENTRATE

Liquid concentrate of stevia could be made available in different concentrates ranging from Syrup to a concoction made out of steeping the leaved in water. To make stevia syrup, the dried leaves (more effectively, its powder) is boiled in water and then filtered to remove the residue.

Liquid concentrate could also be made by dissolving the white stevia extract in water to make a concentrate.

4• STEVIA EXTRACTS

This is the primary form that is used as an industrial sweetener. The purest form of the extract is about 300 times sweeter than sugar and therefore it needs to be used very judiciously.

The white powder is the resultant of extraction process whereby the glycosides are isolated to their degree of purity. The tastes of the white extracts differ and entirely depend upon the degree of refinement and purity it achieves.

Forms of Stevia