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The US and global stevia markets topped $100 million and $500 million in 2009, respectively, and sales of stevia products (including standalone stevia products) may exceed $2 billion by 2011, according to a recent Mintel report, “Stevia and Other Natural Sweeteners.” The report adds that 11% of US survey respondents have already used stevia or purchased foods and beverages that contain the natural sweetener. Since the US Food and Drug Administration’s GRAS recognition of stevia extract rebaudioside A in 2008, flavor houses have launched a flurry of stevia-enhancing/ masking initiatives, particularly in the beverage category.
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