Applications of Major and Minor Steviol Glycosides of Stevia rebaudiana in Complex Food Systems
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Stevia is an all-natural plant-based high-intensity sweetener comprised of major and minor glycosides. Major glycoside, rebaudioside (Reb) A, is the most widely used glycoside in the food industry but possesses a strong aftertaste. Minor glycosides (Rebs D and M) do not possess as prominent of an aftertaste when compared to Reb A, but little has been conducted on high-sugar product applications. Furthermore, Rebs D and M are only found in minute concentrations in Stevia rebaudiana’s leaves, making it impossible to use Rebs D or M as the sole sweetener in a food product as it is cost prohibitive. Therefore, a blend of the major and minor rebaudiosides can be developed to improve the overall taste profile of stevia as a natural high-intensity sweetener. The first study examined the consumer acceptability of stevia’s usage in a bakery product despite being a non-browning sugar replacement and investigated the impact of consumer knowledge on product and attribute acceptability (n=114). The following study aimed to determine an optimal blend of these major and minor rebaudiosides using time-intensity analysis in complex food systems such as ice cream and cola beverage. The consumer acceptability study of ice cream and cola beverage (n=42, n=39, respectively) illustrated that minor glycosides could be incorporated into baking applications and found that presenting knowledge to a consumer could improve the overall acceptance of a high-intensity sweetener. The time-intensity study demonstrated that a blend of the major and minor glycosides could produce an optimized taste profile of stevia-sweetened products. However, a food products matrix must be considered when choosing an optimized ratio to use because it was found that 3 high concentrations of Reb D produced a more optimized taste profile in ice cream, whereas high concentrations of Reb A were preferred in colas.