An enzymatic method for specific determination of stevioside content was established. Recombinant β-glucosidase BT_3567 (rBT_3567) from Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron HB-13 exhibited selective hydrolysis of stevioside at β-1,2-glycosidic bond to yield rubusoside and glucose. Coupling of this enzyme with glucose oxidase and peroxidase allowed for quantitation of stevioside content in Stevia samples by using a colorimetric-based approach. The series of reactions for stevioside determination can be completed within 1 h at 37 °C. Stevioside determination using the enzymatic assay strongly correlated with results obtained from HPLC quantitation (r2 = 0.9629, n = 16). The percentages of coefficient variation (CV) of within day (n = 12) and between days (n = 12) assays were lower than 5%, and accuracy ranges were 95-105%. This analysis demonstrates that the enzymatic method developed in this study is specific, easy to perform, accurate, and yields reproducible results.
Keywords: Stevia rebaudiana; enzymatic method; method validation; stevioside; stevioside determination; β-glucosidase.