First Herb-based Sweetener May Soon Show up in Your Favorite Beverage

A new sweetener will soon be showing up in your favorite beverages. Companies hope it will become the next big thing for consumers.

Ashanti Baize reports.

The already long list of sweeteners and sugar substitutes in the food you eat and the beverages you drink -- is about to get a little longer.

Dietitian, Amy Goodson, said, "This definitely is the first herb based sweetener."

The food and drug administration declared a natural, zero calorie sweetener taken from the herb Stevia as safe for companies to use in their products.

Goodson said, "The one difference is that Stevia is herbal, so it's made from an herb, whereas the other artificial sweeteners are made in a lab setting, so they're chemically made."

You can already buy the no calorie natural sweetener in stores, but, coca cola will introduce a special version of sprite in New York and Chicago, as well as two flavors of their juice drink odwalla ... With the sweetener added.

And Pepsi will use it in a zero calorie Sobe Lifewater and a Tropicana orange drink -- promising half the calories of orange juice.

"A lot of people use it for weight loss because they can mix it in their tea or in their coffee without getting added sugar calories," said Goodson.

Just another way to sweeten the lifestyle of health conscious consumers.

Companies planning to use it in their products aren't expected to release them until sometime in 2009.

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