July 10, 2008 -- Truvia, a new, natural, zero-calorie sweetener made from the stevia plant, is making its debut online and in certain supermarkets in New York.
Cargill, which developed Truvia with Coca-Cola, is holding a "first taste" event in New York's Rockefeller Center to launch Truvia into the retail market.
For now, Truvia is only being sold online on the Truvia web site and in select D'Agostino supermarkets in New York City.
Truvia is the first stevia product that isn't labeled a "dietary supplement," the classification that the FDA has, up until now, required of all stevia products because of safety concerns from some, but not all, studies done mainly on animals.
In Cargill and Coca-Cola funded studies, Truvia showed no sign of health problems. For instance, it didn't affect blood pressure in healthy people or blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Further tests in rats show no effects on reproduction, fertility, or other health problems. Those studies recently appeared in Food and Chemical Toxicology.
Truvia is being sold as a tabletop sweetener and will be an ingredient in certain Coca-Cola drinks. It's not yet ready for use in baking.
Pepsi is also working on its own stevia sweetener. No head-to-head trials have been done on stevia vs. other no-calorie sweeteners, such as NutraSweet, Splenda, and Sweet'N Low.