During Stevia Convention 2019, which was held in Amsterdam, in Octover, the 500 euros Second Prize of The James A. May “Father of Stevia” Award, has been discerned by Wisdom Natural Brands®, the company James A. May in close partnership with the World Stevia Organization, to Dr. Buhara Yücesan, from Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey, for his excellent presentation on the breeding strategy and cultivation of Stevia.

"Stevia rebaudiana has a growing trend with its natural source of zero calorie sweeteners especially among the people who are suffering with excessive use of sugar. World-wide demand for the steviol glycosides is dramatically increasing as well. The critical question seems to be about how to introduce stevia to the global market for high intense sweeteners in easy, healthy and cost-effective way. Due to the market is characterized by several factors including the agricultural costs (1) that is still insufficient to meet global production demand, cost effective production of artificial sweeteners (2) in contrast to the Stevia rebaudiana, sugar price (3) that is still low as compared to the steviol glycosides (SG), and the regulations (4) required more clarifications once chemical and enzymatic modifications are applied. In any case, stevia researches still depend on a sustainable agricultural practice in which high leaf yield, high leaf-to-steam ratio, high steviol glycoside content capacity, high adaptability to various environmental conditions, and high germination rate of seeds are considered respectively. For an efficient and viable investment, partners should consider the cost structure flows in different ways. For example, domestication of super-sweet stevia aimed at high yield of production. This point of view facilitates the conventional techniques of SG isolation and purification which is still at safe side for the authorizations in many countries. Therefore, breeding studies can be integrated into the low-cost production of value-added SG, such as rebaudioside D and M. For the other side of the coin, there have been several reports and patents concerning enzymic modifications established in last decade and this rapid progress in stevia researches seem to provide new understandings through the agricultural strategies."

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For media information:
World Stevia Organization
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