What are Monk Fruit Sweeteners?
Monk fruit sweeteners, also known as lo han guo, originate from a small
round fruit grown in Southeast Asia. By removing the seeds and skin,
then crushing the fruit and collecting the juice, the sweet ﬂavor of monk
fruit is extracted for use in foods and beverages to help reduce calories
from sugar without sacriﬁcing ﬂavor.
Monk fruit is the primary sweetener in brand names like Monk Fruit in the Raw®
What’s in a Name?
How many Calories?
Monk fruit extract has no calories.
Some sweeteners are “low-calorie” contributing negligible
amounts of calories. Some are “no-calorie” contributing zero
While monk fruit sweeteners provide zero calories, packets or
products containing monk fruit sweeteners can have calories.
Sometimes ingredients with calories are added for ﬂavor or
texture. When this occurs, the amount of these ingredients added
per serving is so small that their calorie contribution is low.
Is it Safe?
Yes, monk fruit extract is safe to consume.
Monk fruit extract is one of 8 low- and no-calorie sweeteners
permitted by the FDA for use in the US food supply. Each
of the 8 have been rigorously tested and reviewed.
Who says it’s safe? Leading global health authorities such
as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and
Beginning in 2010, the FDA lists monk fruit extract as
Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS).
A little goes a long way. Because monk fruit sweeteners are
sweeter than sugar, only a tiny amount is needed to replace
sugar while keeping the same level of sweetness.
Sugar Monk Fruit Sweetener
Sweet as Sugar?
Walter T. Swingle (1941).
"Momordica grosvenori sp. nov.: The
source of the Chinese Lo Han Kuo".
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum.
The scientiﬁc species name for monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) honors
Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, the former president of the National Geographic
Society who helped fund the 1930’s expedition to ﬁnd the plant in its natural
habitat in China.
Monk fruit is said to be named after Buddhist monks who grew the fruit
eight centuries ago in mountainous regions of Southern China.