This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Applications of Major and Minor Steviol Glycosides of Stevia rebaudiana in Complex Food Systems




Williams, Reed

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Poultry Science


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.