AG Barr has welcomed the EU stevia clearance

AG Barr has welcomed the EU stevia clearance

AG Barr has said that it is looking at stevia as a potential new product ingredient, following the European Commission's formal approval of the sweetener for use within the European Union.

This week, the European Commission publicly approved stevia-based sweeteners for use in the 27 EU states, after months of examining the safety of natural sweeteners derived from the stevia plant.

UK soft drinks firm AG Barr, along with much of the soft drinks industry, has welcomed the decision. "We are looking at stevia as a potential new product ingredient along with the rest of the industry," a spokesperson told just-drinks today (17 November).

The Union of European Soft Drinks Associations (UNESDA) said the approval will provide the industry with “a wider repertoire” for offering additional variety and choice in soft drinks.

“Stevia’s approval for use in the EU will allow the beverages sector to innovate to deliver new products,” said UNESDA's secretary general, Alain Beaumont. “With this additional option for delivering sweetness we expect to see even further growth in the low- and mid-calorie varieties.”