stevia plants producing non-caloric natural sugar

stevia producer of natural sugar non calori
Picture: ditjenbun.deptan
Stevia plants producing non-caloric natural sugar, Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is a plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae) from Paraguay. The plant is shaped shrub with a height 60-90 cm, branched, leafy thick and elongated oval-shaped, small, slender, hairy stem, has delicate root systems that are close to the soil surface and the roots thick, tight and harsh growing penetrate into the soil.

Plant are Producing of Zero calorie natural sweetener 

  • Some studies claim that stevia sugar sweetness 300 times higher than the sugar cane
  •  Is not carcinogenic and low in calories, making it suitable for people with diabetes mellitus and obesity.
  • Excellence stevia sugar sweetness is derived from its constituent chemical composition and content of the largest constituent is steviosida and rebaudiosida-A.
  • Stevia certified GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe - "no objection") of POM United States (Food and Drug Administration - FDA) in December 2008 for use as a zero calorie natural sweetener for food and beverage products.

 Propagation of stevia plants

breading of stevia plant
Picture: ditjenbun.deptan 
With this it will further expand its export market for stevia producer countries, such as countries in South America, Japan, China and South Korea and other countries in Asia.

Stevia seed multiplication can be done by seed, cuttings shoots / stem, or by tissue culture. Needle-shaped stevia seeds and dirty white. Propagation using seeds is rarely done because the success rate is very low and the crop is not uniform. Stevia ever grown in Indonesia comes from Japan, Korea and China. The plant material is derived from the stevia plant seeds so that growth in the field is very diverse.

Propagation of stevia
 Picture: ditjenbun.deptan
Propagation by cuttings stevia cuttings can be either shoots or stem cuttings. Of particular interest to breeders cuttings material is selected young plants and woody. Stem cuttings taken from the center of the primary branches while shoot cuttings taken from the tip of the plant. To increase the number of lateral shoots and number of leaves better use stem cuttings. Techniques propagation by stem cuttings is done by installing airtight plastic lid, so that the temperature inside the containment and humidity close to 100%. With the high temperatures and humidity can stimulate root growth. After the age of 3-4 weeks, the cuttings can ditransplanting to the field (Sudiatso, 1999).

Propagation of stevia using tissue culture techniques have not been a lot of literature or published results, but in general propagation techniques acquired plants that are uniform and the number of plants that a lot in a relatively short time and free of pests and plant diseases.

The development of stevia in Indonseia still very limited. With a great potential as a natural sweetener, stevia plants producing non-caloric natural sugar as a commodity worthy in the development of agribusiness and agro-industries.