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Quality and purity of popular stevia sweetener strengthened by new reference standards
Date:6/1/2009

Rockville, Md., June 1, 2009 As the number of food and beverage products sweetened with stevia-based ingredients continues to grow in the United States and worldwide, the U.S. Pharmacopeial (USP) Convention today announces that new reference standards for Rebaudioside A and Stevioside are now available. The reference standards for these two ingredients complement the soon to be released written testing standard for high-purity Rebaudioside A in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), a collection of documentary standards for food ingredients that allow manufacturers to demonstrate the quality, and thus related aspects of safety, of the products they provide to consumers.

The reference standards for Rebaudioside A and Stevioside are authenticated pure chemicals against which both producers and purchasers can compare their ingredients to help ensure and substantiate the identity, quality, purity, strength and consistency of their food ingredient, protecting their products and brands from low-quality, potentially adulterated ingredients, thus helping to maintain food safety. The internationally recognized FCC and its associated reference standards are produced by USP, a nonprofit scientific organization that has set chemical standards for close to 200 years. These standardsfor pharmaceuticals, excipients, dietary supplements and food ingredientsare used in more than 130 countries throughout the world. The new stevia standards demonstrate the commitment of USP to continue to support the food industry with quality monographs and reference standards.

"These new reference standards, taken together with the written standards in the FCC, provide a powerful tool to help ensure the authenticity of the ingredients manufacturers are using in their new stevia-based product lines," said James Griffiths, Ph.D., vice president of food, dietary supplement and excipient standards for USP. "As these ingredients are produced all over the world in widely disparate facil
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Contact: Francine Pierson
fp@usp.org
301-816-8588
US Pharmacopeia
Source:Eurekalert

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