Labelling of steviol glycosides
On this page
- Common names to use in the list of ingredients
- Acceptable terms on other areas of the package
- Natural source claims for steviol glycosides
- Additional information
- Related links
Steviol glycosides are a sweetener (food additive) regulated in Canada. It consists principally of one or more steviol glycosides originating from the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant or obtained through yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) fermentation.
To be eligible for use as a sweetener, steviol glycosides must respect the conditions set out in Health Canada's List of permitted sweeteners. In addition, the criteria set out in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) or given by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) must be met.
Common names to use in the list of ingredients
The Food and Drug Regulations require ingredients, including food additives, to be declared by their common name in the list of ingredients. The common name for most food additives is the name appearing in Health Canada's Lists of permitted food additives. For steviol glycosides, the CFIA accepts the terms given in the List of permitted sweeteners as well as the synonyms specified in the table below.
The plant source from which the sweetener is obtained (that is, "from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni") may be added to any of these synonyms. Likewise, the strain of yeast extract used to synthesize steviol glycosides (such as, CD15380, CD15407 or Y63348) can be shown in the list of ingredients. The term "purified" can also be added as a descriptor to the common name because food grade steviol glycosides must always be purified to at least 95% (on the dried basis).
Stakeholders who wish to specify that they have a product with a specific steviol glycoside may do so as long as they can prove they properly isolated that specific glycoside.
|Permitted synonyms for "Steviol glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni"||Synonym applies to|
||Steviol glycosides sweeteners that meet the FCC or JECFA specifications.|
||Steviol glycosides sweeteners that meet the FCC specifications for "Rebaudioside A" or that meet the JECFA specifications for "Steviol glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni" and are at least 95% (on the dried basis) Rebaudioside A.|
Steviol glycosides sweeteners that meet the FCC specifications for "Steviol Glycosides" or that meet the JECFA specifications for "Steviol glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni" and are at least 95% (on the dried basis) of the named steviol glycoside. The FCC specifications apply only when the named steviol glycoside is:
- Table note 1
Canadian consumers are not familiar with the names "Reb A" or "Rebiana" that are listed in the FCC monograph. It is therefore recommended that these names be accompanied by synonyms that are better recognized in parentheses, as shown in the table above.
- Table note 2
Canadian consumers are not familiar with the common name "Reb M". It is therefore recommended that this name be accompanied by synonyms that are better recognized in parentheses, as shown in the table above.
Acceptable terms on other areas of the package
Terms other than the common names in the List of permitted sweeteners may be used outside the list of ingredients to indicate that the food is sweetened with the permitted steviol glycosides sweetener. For example, the claim "sweetened with stevia sweetener" may be used on the label of prepackaged foods provided the common name is used in the list of ingredients.
In the case of the tabletop sweetener bearing a list of ingredients, "stevia sweetener" may be used as the product common name.
It is not acceptable, however, for a food sweetened with steviol glycosides to identify the sweetener as "stevia" or "stevia leaf" anywhere on the label because this might lead consumers to believe that the food was sweetened with the stevia plant or a part of the plant.
Natural source claims for steviol glycosides
Steviol glycosides sweeteners may be considered as "naturally sourced" ingredients. For more information, see natural claims.
Enquiries about steviol glycosides products other than what is described above can be directed to Health CanadaFootnote 1. Examples include:
- products that do not meet the minimum steviol glycosides content required by the specifications
- those that consist principally of a steviol glycoside that was manufactured by converting a steviol glycoside isolated from the plant into another steviol glycoside
- modified steviol glycosides, such as glucosylated steviol glycosides), and
- stevia leaf products such as fresh, dried or powdered leaves)
See also Health Canada's website on sugar substitutes for more information about stevia and steviol glycosides.
- Information and consultation document on Health Canada's proposal to allow the use of the food additive steviol glycosides as a table-top sweetener and as a sweetener in certain food categories. June, 2012. Health Canada
- Notice of modification to the list of permitted sweeteners to enable the use of steviol glycosides as a table-top sweetener and as a sweetener in certain food categories. November, 2012. Health Canada
- Labelling requirements for sweeteners and foods that contain sweeteners
- Date modified: