Certain stevia glycosides had already been approved as food additives in the U.S. European approval adds another large market for sugar-free foods and beverages. Hopefully increased use of stevia will free up more of the sugar cane crop for use as biofuels. Stevia can be grown on land unsuitable for sugar cane or field corn. It can also yield more sweetening power per acre than sugar cane can deliver.
Stevia approval will accelerate existing trend towards low calorie drinks, Wild: A regulation allowing the sale and use of steviol glycosides was published in the Official Journal of the EU on November 12, and will enter into force 20 calendar days from that date, meaning that stevia-based products could appear on sale as early as December 2.