Advertisement
Saturday, Jan 29, 2022
Outlook.com
Outlook.com
Livelihoods

Growing This Plant As Healthy Substitute To Sugar

Stevia rebaudiana has gained popularity as an alternative sweetener. In warmer climates, it is a perennial herb and can be harvested multiple times in a year.

Growing This Plant As Healthy Substitute To Sugar
| Pixabay
Growing This Plant As Healthy Substitute To Sugar
outlookindia.com
2021-03-30T15:10:17+05:30

Sugar tastes sweet but over consumption may leave a bitter mark on health. Thus, many people are taking to alternative means or supplements.

When too much of added sugar is consumed, it leads to several problems. In fact, many food manufacturers add sugar to their products to increase the flavour or extend shelf life.

Several brands of soft and flavoured drinks, flavoured yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy, and processed foods have added sugar.

"Excess sugar can be harmful. It can impact obesity and diabetes. Adding too much sugar in diet can have a serious impact on the heart as well," says medical practitioner Dr. Shinjita Verma.

In nature, sugar is found in foods that contain carbohydrates. Among these are fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy.

Stevia as alternative

“Stevia is a natural sweetener up to 300 times sweeter than white cane sugar,” said Amresh Singh, a farmer from Bihar who uses it as an ingredient for Exotic Kahawa – claimed to be a healthy substitute for tea and coffee.

Stevia rebaudiana has gained popularity as an alternative sweetener because it contains glycosides.

In warmer climates, it is a perennial herb and can be harvested multiple times in a year. It propagates through plant parts, seeds, etc. and facilitates intercropping.

However, Stevia is sensitive to frost, waterlogging and drought.

All plants have an optimal pH range. At higher substrate pH levels nutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc, and copper become less available to the plant.

pH value

In most cases, plants with abnormally high pH values will experience iron-deficiency symptoms. Iron is an immobile element in the plant and in result cannot be translocated from lower foliage to meet the plants needs in the new developing portions of the plant.

Limited iron to Stevia plants may result in yellowing and interveinal chlorosis on the upper leaves of the plant.

According to Patrick Veazie and Brian E. Whipker in ‘e-GRO Alert’ (Stevia: High Substrate pH Induced Iron Chlorosis), “when attempting to diagnose Fe-deficiency it is important to account for the location of the symptomology to help eliminate other nutrient deficiencies. In this case of Stevia, the plants upper portions are exhibiting yellowing and interveinal chlorosis. Thus, with the combination of symptom location, and the alkaline substrate pH values the cause of the interveinal chlorosis is Fe-deficiency due to elevated substrate pH levels”.

Otherwise, Stevia adapts well to different climatic ranges around the world. In semi-humid temperature with good light intensity it is found to exhibit better leaf growth.

Also, the length of the day favours the leaf growth. Stevia plant can sustain rainfall of around 1800mm. Red and sandy loam soils with an optimum pH of 6 to 7 are considered best for growing the plant.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.

Advertisement