Chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley is to introduce stevia-based mints throughout Europe in 2014, the first time the Mars subsidiary has used the low-calorie sweetener in a product globally.

Wrigley has used Stevia in gums in Japan and started rolling out Extra Professional Mints in Germany and Austria last month, with a further 18 European markets expected to follow later this year.

The low-calorie sweetener has until now been mainly used in soft drinks but some ice cream, yoghurt and confectionery companies have been working with the ingredient.

Extra Professional Mints with stevia will be available in classic mint and forest fruit flavours.