The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has recently made a new entry in its Chemical Cuisine: A Guide to Food Additives for mogrosides, the active sweetener compound from monk fruit that can be up to 250 times sweeter than sugar. The non-profit agency described the inclusion for monk fruit and monatin, another new sweetener, in a recent press release as "natural, high-potency sweeteners that aren't widely used yet but are on the horizon". Monk fruit, a common fruit in China known as Luo Han Guo, has been consumed for centuries as a popular tea and “cooling” beverage, dating back to the Tang Dynasty during the thirteenth century.
"We're pleased that CSPI has now included monk fruit in its list of food additives," said Chris Tower, President of LAYN USA, Inc. "Monk fruit is now the second and newest natural, high-intensity non-nutritive sweetener available to the North American consumer, following the 2009 entry of stevia. Inclusion on CSPI’s list comes as a welcomed surprise and serves as another validation for increasing acceptance of monk fruit."
CSPI has several categories for safety ratings. Monk fruit, upon its first inclusion on the food additives list, is listed under the "caution" category meaning that more testing is needed based on CSPI’s opinion. The top selling artificial, non-nutritive sweetener in the U.S., sucralose (best known as Splenda®), and the up-and-coming natural, non-nutritive sweetener, monatin, also share this same "caution" classification by CSPI.
Over a 10-year period, LAYN USA completed a number of rigorous scientific studies to substantiate the safety and efficacy of its branded GoLuo® monk fruit extracts. LAYN's clinical safety dossier received Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) affirmation in April 2011 by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) GRAS Notice Inventory, GRN No. 359. In addition, Canada's food standards agency known as Health Canada's Food Directorate recently completed a detailed scientific evaluation and approved the use of monk fruit as a sweetener for table top use in Canada. LAYN’s GRAS dossier is referenced in Health Canada's Consultation Document.
Monk fruit extracts are becoming increasingly popular as a superior tasting, natural, zero-calorie, high-intensity sweetener without the bitterness aspects commonly associated with stevia. LAYN USA, Inc., a division of Guilin LAYN Natural Ingredients Corp., markets a successful monk fruit extract line under the Go-Luo® brand.
"It’s exciting to be involved in the commercialization of monk fruit, after 10 years of ‘behind the scenes’ heavy-lifting carried out by LAYN on the product and regulatory development front. The vision of effectively breaking into the North American sweetener market is finally a reality," said Tower.