The stevia leaves were collected, dried and milled into a fine powder. Because whole leaf stevia contains both sweet and non-sweet components, it often has an licorice-like aftertaste.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes stevia sweeteners, composed primarily of rebaudioside A and stevioside, as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use in foods and beverages. However, the FDA has not approved, nor accepted as GRAS , the whole leaf stevia or the use of crude stevia extracts as sweeteners. Whole leaf and crude extracts of stevia remain under review because there is inadequate safety information. Whole leaf and crude extracts of stevia, therefore, can only be sold as dietary supplements in the US.