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Production of Low Calorie Ready-to-Serve Fruit Beverages Using a Natural Sweetener, Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana L.)

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Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana L.) popularly known as sweet leaf has been used as a sweetening agent in tea, beverages and food since a long time. Cane sugar has been used extensively in the world and consequently health disorders are increasing. Stevia a natural sweetener without contributing calories and possessing sweetness several hundred times than sugar has become a boon for the calorie conscious. The thirst-quenching ready-to-serve (RTS) beverages are popular for many reasons. In the present study, an attempt has been made to prepare low calorie RTS fruit beverages using optimized quantities of stevia aqueous extract and a commercial stevioside powder as replacement for sugar. Fruits namely jamun, mango, pineapple, pomegranate and purple grapes were used in the study. The RTS beverages were analysed for physico-chemical and sensory parameters during storage for six months. The RTS beverages were well accepted by sensory panelists and found that the beverages were stable up to four months of storage, during which changes in physico-chemical parameters and sensory scores were found to be minimal.

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