Stevia has taken the nutrition world by storm for its incredible sweetness, it’s ability to avoid a glycaemic response, and its ‘no side- effects’ reputation. What makes sweeteners so valuable are their ability to sweeten food and drink without increasing calories, and without raising blood sugar levels. Until recently, sweeteners were synthetic and (hence the name artificial sweeteners) were manmade and ‘chemically’, but more recent developments have changed this. Stevia is a leaf and provides sweetness that is approx 200x sweeter than table sugar, and with added sugar being an ever growing faux pas in the nutrition and health world these more natural sweeteners are growing in popularity.
Introducing Monk Fruit…
Monk fruit is a spherical, intensely sweet fruit that grows on vines in small farms in the Asian hillsides. This unique fruit is harvested, crushed and infused with hot water in order to make a sweet alternative to sugar, and even stevia. Stevia is known to leave a bitter after taste in some peoples mouths (not everyone’s), and although some people don’t notice this bitterness and just enjoy the sweetness it has to offer, many people do. So Monk fruit offers a sweet, bitter free alternative (apparently), so food and drink manufacturers have decided to use a blend of the two when sweetening foodstuffs. The Monk fruit evidently detracts from the bitterness of the stevia that some people notice.
Most pertinently, the FDA classifies monk fruit as generally recognized as safe (GRAS), like stevia. No negative side effects have been reported.