Gilbert, Arizona(12/02/10) – SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener was the overall winner of the 2010-2011 Annual Global Stevia Products Award by the International Society of Antioxidants in Nutrition and Health (ISANH) based on taste performance, advancement in ingredient science and positive environmental and social impact. SweetLeaf Stevia® founder and president, James May, was presented with the prestigious award at the Sugar & Salt Reduction Strategies Conference in St. Julian, Malta.
Dr. Marvin Edeas, President and Founder of ISANH, presented this year’s prestigious Global Stevia Products Award to SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener and the SweetLeaf® range of products for the unique proprietary use of nano membrane technology and water to produce a natural extract with customizable glycoside balances tailored to acheive individual customer’s application requirements. The ISANH Organizing Committee determined SweetLeaf Stevia® to be a viable tool to support sugar reduction and synthetic sweetener replacement.
“The first beverage product to roll out in the US with our branded ingredient, Olade™, has just won major consumer taste award recognition with a 96/100 rating,” May said upon receiving the award. “Our SweetLeaf® branded products are number one in sales in the natural and independent food categories.”
“Having won several taste panels over the last few months and being a recognized and trusted stevia brand in the consumer market has resulted in real demand for the SweetLeaf® branded ingredient which will be launching in leading consumer brands from Spring 2011,” said SweetLeaf®’s Angus Flood.
“Extensive scalable agricultural infrastructure is now in place in South America to support the rapid expansion of the third generation of stevia ingredient. In countries such as Paraguay, the birthplace of stevia, this represents a viable alternative to support some of the poorest families in the region. In Colombia, stevia growing is a viable alternative to marijuana and coca production. This was a significant motivation to find a way of cost effectively delivering a food grade ingredient with meaningful corporate social responsibility.”
The International Society of Antioxidants in Nutrition and Health is a prestigious non-profit group of scientists with a particular interest in the health functions of natural ingredients. The society and its founder have advised many global organizations regarding the selection of ingredients in their products. Recognizing that taste is a key component of acceptability in a food ingredient or product, the ISANH awards companies that successfully combine health awareness and taste in their products.
About SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener
It all started with one man who had a dream – James May, Founder of Wisdom Natural Brands®.
Stevia is a naturally sweet herb native to Paraguay that has been consumed for centuries. After tasting stevia leaves given to him by a Peace Corps worker, May made it his mission to bring the extract from the deliciously sweet plant to the United States. May is known as “The Father of Stevia.” The process involves taking the highest-quality leaves of the stevia plant and extracting their naturally sweet taste with only cool, purified water – no chemicals, solvents or additives that adulterate and cover up the great taste created by nature.
May first traveled to Paraguay to import stevia in 1982. His most satisfying victory came in 2008, when GRAS Associates and Life Science Research Office, two completely independent panels of scientists, awarded SweetLeaf Stevia® GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status, pursuant to FDA regulations. This allowed SweetLeaf®products made from its new, revolutionary extraction technology to be labeled as sweeteners. SweetLeaf® could finally use the word “sweet” to describe its product, now known as SweetLeaf Sweetener®. The FDA granted a no-questions letter to SweetLeaf’s® GRAS status in 2009, validating all the hard work done by May over more than a quarter of a century.
Wisdom Natural Brands®, a leading U.S. manufacturer of stevia products, offers SweetLeaf Sweetener® in convenient double-serving packets. SweetLeaf Sweetener® is sold in boxes containing either 50 or 100 packets. Each packet replaces two teaspoons of sugar. SweetLeaf® is also sold in the SweetLeaf Stevia Plus® Shaker Bottle for easy home use and SweetLeaf SteviaTabs™ Dissolvable Tablets for easy on-the-go use.
Today, May is a leading expert on stevia and travels across the world promoting the benefits of the stevia plant.