Ethical Naturals launches monk fruit sweetener


Botanical extract provider Ethical Naturals (ENI) has launched a monk fruit sweetener to cater to companies requiring natural, zero-calorie sugar replacements.

Unlike several other zero-calorie sweeteners, LOHAN-50 is claimed not to pose flavour challenges and does not leave difficult-to-mask afternotes.

ENI claimed that its 20-year experience in manufacturing and purifying pharmaceutical grade botanical extracts has enabled it to develop a process that naturally removes any bitter or 'off-colour' compounds from monk fruit, which is a green, apple-sized gourd fruit belonging to the same family as watermelons.

The monk fruit sweetener is sweet and does not increase glucose levels unlike the regular sugar.

ENI's co-founder and CEO Cal Bewicke said: "It's been great to apply the knowledge our company has acquired in the botanical extract field to produce a new ingredient like LOHAN-50, especially at a time when large sections of the industry are searching to find alternatives to the added sugars in our diet, a valued goal, that is fully in line with our core mission, to produce healthy, natural source ingredients, verified by science."

"It's been great to apply the knowledge our company has acquired in the botanical extract field to produce a new ingredient like LOHAN-50."

According to the new FDA nutritional guidelines which will come into effect next year, food and beverage manufacturers have to remove added sugars. ENI expects that this new requirement, as well as the continual growth of sugar-free foods and drinks, will provide a market for LOHAN-50.

Discovered more than 1,000 years ago in Asia, the sweetness of monk fruit is due to a group of saponin antioxidants called mogrosides.

ENI R&D director Lora Xiong said: "Focusing on the mogroside 5 fraction in our proprietary process has enabled us to develop innovation that naturally removes the undesirable compounds that are the greatest challenge in manufacturing monk fruit extracts."

Available as a white power, LOHAN-50 is standardised to 50% mogroside 5 content and remains stable throughout the pasteurisation process. Completely soluble and organic compliant, it can be used in all kinds of formulations such as dairy.