Stevia, a herb found in Paraguay, may be a suitable sugar substitute as it is sweeter than sugar, but comes without the added calories.
Stevia Biotech Pvt Ltd managing director Sourabh Agarwal said that his company has approached the agriculture ministry with a view to get clearance for wider cultivation of the herb.
"It is a zero calorie sweetener and without any side effects. It can replace sugar in every aspect," Agarwal said, adding that the herb could be cultivated anywhere.
"For commercial farming of stevia, one needs to make sure of factors like temperature, soil type, water type and availability and planting material for maximum yield with a great quality," he said.
It is also reported by stevia.net that repeated use of the herb could reactivate insulin secretion by the pancreas, a process that gets faulty in diabetes.