With increasing, awareness people are avoiding traditional sugar and moving towards the healthier aspects of the daily diet, and alternative sweeteners.
One popular sweetener is monk fruit sweetener or monk fruit extract as the name suggests Monk Fruit sweetener is derived from Monk Fruit. Also known as Luo han guo or Buddha Fruit. It is a small round fruit native to southeast China, named after the monks who first cultivated it centuries ago. It’s been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as both a cold and digestive aid.
Monk fruit sweeteners are produced by removing the skin and seeds of the fruit, crushing the fruit, and then filtering and extracting from dried fruit. This extract is 150-250 times sweeter than table sugar. Has zero calories and carbs, and does not hike blood glucose levels. Most non-nutritive sweeteners can cause side effects like gas, bloating, or allergic reactions, whereas monk fruit sweetener does not pose threat like these. Recognized as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by FDA (Food and Drug Administration), for pregnant women and children too. Even so, because monk fruit is relatively new to the mass market. There are no minor scientific studies present on the effects of its long-term use.
Use in food and beverage
Monk fruit sweeteners can be used in a wide range of foods and beverages like juices, dairy products, soft drinks, desserts, condiments, and candies. Because of their stable high-temperature nature. Monk fruit sweeteners can be used in various baked goods and foods prepared using high heat. However, a recipe that uses monk fruit sweeteners in place of sugar may turn out slightly different because. In addition to sweetness, sugar plays several roles in recipes related to volume and texture, but this varies based on the type of recipe. So a person using Monk fruit sweetener as an alternative might look it before. And be prepared as the final product might come as a slightly different than expected. Using it as a liquid extract, in drinks might need some time to adapt to this slighter distinct flavor. As some might also find it not up to their taste.
Mogrosides are the compound that gives monk fruit extract its sweetness, which consists of a backbone structure called mogrol with glucose units(glycosides) attached to it. The main mogroside in monk fruit sweeteners is mogrosideV. Most of what’s known about how mogrosides are metabolized come from studies done on creatures. creatures are supposed to metabolize mogrosides the same or parallel to humans. Mogrosides aren’t absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract, therefore they don’t deliver calories. When mogrosides reach the colon, gut microbes stick off the glucose molecules and use them as an energy source. The mogrol and some metabolites are also primarily excreted from the gastrointestinal tract. And minor quantities are absorbed into the bloodstream and excreted in the urine.
Some monk fruit sweeteners contain erythritol. Erythritol is quickly absorbed in the small intestine and the majority. 80- 90 % is excreted in the urine within 24 hours.
Health benefits of monk fruit
1. Is Safe for diabetes
Monk fruit sweetener gets their sweetness from natural compounds called mogrosides. It’s generally safe for those with diabetes because it doesn’t hike blood sugar levels. Even so, foods and drinks sweetened with monk fruit (as well as some monk fruit sweetener blends) may include added sugars and other ingredients like erythritol that increase carb and calorie counts or affect insulin sensitivity. Don’t assume all monk fruit products are carb and sugar-free.
2. Promotes weight loss
Monk fruit sweetener has no calories, carbs, or fat, so it may be a great option for anyone willing to reduce weight. A person can cut a substantial number of calories and carbs by simply substituting monk fruit sweetener for traditional table sugar throughout the day. Just make sure to consume monk fruit products that don’t include added sugars like erythritol in order to taste and look more like table sugar.
3. Shows Anti-inflammatory properties
As per the studies, monk fruit has been used in TCM for decades to make hot drinks that relieve sore throats and reduce phlegm. mogrosides compounds present in monk fruit sweeteners are observed to be anti-inflammatory and may help prevent cancer and keep blood sugar levels stable. Still, this belief is in the array because of a lack of scientific studies which need to be done.
MONK FRUIT SWEETENERS AT A GLANCE
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Siraitia grosvenorii
BRAND NAMES: Monk Fruit in The Raw, SPLENDA Monk Fruit Sweetener, Lakanto, Whole Earth, SweetLeaf.
FDA STATUS: Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) got in 2010 for use in foods and beverages