[mass noun] A sweet compound of the glycoside class obtained from the leaves of a Paraguayan shrub and used as a food sweetener.
- ‘In the past 10 years, the United States has three times vetoed applications to use stevioside as a food additive, and the agent has suffered the same fate in European Union, Canada and Singapore.’
- ‘The substances responsible for the plant's sweetness are chemicals called glycosides, primarily one dubbed stevioside, which are concentrated in the leaves.’
- ‘In summary, the use of stevioside as a sweetener has been a raging international controversy for years and I just found out about it today.’
- ‘Researchers found that the main chemical in stevioside causes changes in the genes of laboratory animals.’
- ‘The green leaves of this plant contain large amounts (up to 5 percent of dry weight) of stevioside, a sweetener estimated to be 300 times as sweet as table sugar.’
1930s: from the genus name Stevia (see stevia).