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Health Canada Adds Table-top Stevia to List of Permitted Sweeteners

Posted: December 5, 2012

Health Canada’s Food Directorate has made a modification its "List of Permitted Sweeteners" to allow the use of steviol gylcosides, or stevia, as a table-top sweetener and as a sweetener in certain food categories.

Food additives are regulated in Canada under the Food and Drug Regulations and Marketing Authorizations (MAs) issued by the Minister of Health. Approved food additives and their permitted conditions of use are set out in the "Lists of Permitted Food Additives" that are incorporated by reference in the MAs.

In the case of steviol gylcosides, scientists within Health Canada's Food Directorate completed a detailed evaluation of the three submissions requesting the use of the ingredient as a sweetener. The evaluation was focused on safety and efficacy, and considered the chemical, microbiological, toxicological and nutritional aspects of the proposed uses of steviol glycosides as a food additive.

Health Canada said the results of its evaluation of available data "support the safety and efficacy of steviol glycosides when used as described." Effective Nov. 30, Health Canada enabled the use of the food additive steviol glycosides by modifying the "List of Permitted Sweeteners."