Sugar Equivalent of Stevia Dry Extract Powder (1kg)
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Marc Couture
Posted on: March 10, 2008

I will be preparing fruit preserves and at this stage I am looking to use stevia dry extract powder as a substitute for 150 kilograms of sugar.

First, would stevia dry extract powder dissolve in water so as to be an appropriate sugar substitute for making fruit preserves?

If so, what quantity of sugar would be equivalent to one kilogram of dry extract powder (selling for $180, as I see on your website)?

Then, what quantity of dry extract powder would I need to replace 150 kg of sugar, and do you have a bulk purchase price for such a quantity?

If you are preparing a commercial product you should be aware that Canada and the U.S. do not permit stevia to be used as a food additive. We are hopeful that this archaic policy will be changed eventually, but for now you can only use stevia for personal use in food products.

The second issue is that sugar is more than just a sweetener in preserves. As Kim Hector, our commercial department manager and professionally-trained home economist points out, pectin needs the sugar and acid to properly set. Without sugar you need unflavoured gelatin to thicken the jam. In her experience, jams made with sweeteners also have to be made in smaller batches and kept refrigerated or frozen. Kim adds that "some fruits are naturally high enough in pectin to thicken with cooking but the jams do not have as ‘fresh’ a flavour and people now prefer (for making jams at home) ‘freezer’ or ‘no-cook’ jams." She suggests contacting Kraft Foods, the makers of Certo, for help in adjusting your recipes. Kim checked "The Stevia Cookbook" which we sell for jam and jelly recipes but tellingly the book does not have any.

Pure steviosides, the compounds responsible for the sweet taste of stevia, are about 200-300 times as sweet as sugar. Commercial stevia powders are about 50 times as sweet as sugar. Stevia powder generally equates to sugar as follows:

1 cup sugar = 1 teaspoon stevia; 1 tablespoon sugar = 1/4 teaspoon stevia; 1 teaspoon sugar = a pinch of stevia (1/16th teaspoon)

Using these numbers, 150 kg of sugar is roughly equivalent to 3 kg of stevia powder.

But it is important to note that sweetening power is subjective, and these "equivalences" are rough guidelines only and need to be adjusted for different foods. And the taste is not exactly the same as sugar: stevia has a bitter undertone, and its sweet sensation lingers longer than sugar’s does, so you really have to experiment.

For quantities 5 kg and more, we can offer a discount price. Please contact our commercial department (commercial@richters.com) for a quote if you are interested.

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