Stores to welcome sweet newcomer

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th August 2018

INTENSE sweetener made from monk fruit extract will soon almost certainly be legal to sell in Australia and New Zealand.

Currently monk fruit can only be used as a food and drink flavouring.

But by January it could be on supermarket shelves as a table top sweetener, an intense sweetener, made to be used as a teaspoon-for-teaspoon equivalent to white sugar.

Monk fruit extract is derived from the fruit of Siraitia grosvenorii, a perennial vine native to southern China. The sweet components of monk fruit extract are cucurbitane triterpene glycosides known collectively as mogrosides. The predominant component of commercial monk fruit extracts is mogroside V, which typically represents 30 to 40 per cent of the extract.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has called for submissions on an application to permit the new sweetener.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the sweetener was derived from monk fruit (or luo han guo).

“FSANZ has conducted a thorough safety assessment and concluded there are no public health or safety issues related to the use of monk fruit extract as a sweetener,” Mr Booth said.

The period for comment closes 31 August 2018. All submissions will be published the FSANZ website after the closing date. The closing date is 31 August 2018.

An FSANZ spokesperson told Australian Food News that if there is no ministerial review is requested, the change to allow monk fruit as intense sweetener could become law around January 2019.

Read the assessment reports

How to make a submission​

MORE: Monk fruit emerges as a solution for calorie and sugar reduction

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