Michigan State working to sweeten Stevia’s taste, US yield
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University researchers are leading an effort to improve the taste of a natural sweetener, and sweeten its yield in the United States.
The East Lansing school has received a $3.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its work with Stevia, a leafy green perennial that researchers say produces roughly 25 sweet-tasting compounds. They aim to improve its flavor profile at the molecular level, probe consumer preferences and determine best farming practices and areas to grow it.
The university says in a release that most Stevia consumed stateside is grown in China. U.S. food and beverage manufacturers who use it seek domestically sourced ingredients.