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PureCircle establishes institute to promote science-based stevia information

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 26-May-2010

Major stevia supplier PureCircle has established an institute with the stated aim of providing a consistent voice on the science behind the zero-calorie plant-derived sweetener.

The company said it has appointed nutrition expert Dr. Keith-Thomas Ayoob to head the Global Stevia Institute, which is due to open next month, as its executive director. Dr. Ayoob is associate clinical professor of pediatrics at New York City’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

PureCircle said that it saw a need to present consolidated, credible, reliable information about stevia to the food industry, health professionals and consumers, led by a team of scientific advisers who could submit the science to third-party scrutiny.

Group marketing director at PureCircle Jason Hecker told FoodNavigator-USA.com: “In developing the Global Stevia Institute it was critical that we culled together only facts and existing science-based information about stevia and allowed the data to stand on its own. We enlisted the help of our executive director and advisory board, representing a cross-functional group of health professionals to share their honest opinions about stevia. These experts are well-equipped to educate others with the facts on stevia from a science perspective.”

Dr. Ayoob said that the institute would play an important role in educating industry and consumers about how to incorporate stevia into their products and diets.

“Now more than ever, it is important to find tasty, calorie-free alternatives for sweetening foods and beverages to help those battling obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases,” he said.

PureCircle said that further details of the institute’s activities will be released when it opens next month, but they will include providing education about stevia through webinars and events such as the Society for Nutrition Education annual conference, the American Association of Diabetes Educators annual meeting and the American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo.

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