Monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) - health aspects and food applications

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Abstract
Monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) commonly called as Luo Han Guo is a perennial herb and generally cultivated in Guangxi province of China. Traditionally the fruit was used in folk medicine for the treatment of several common diseases like cough, cold, sore throat, constipation and dire thirst. Studies over past decades advanced the knowledge of bio-chemical and pharmacological properties of monk fruit. Till now, several compounds have been identified and isolated from monk fruit, mainly triterpenoids, flavonoids, essential oils, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and polysaccharides. A triterpene glycoside consists of a group of mogrosides which are mainly considered to be responsible for higher biological effects of monk fruit. The mogroside extract of monk fruit gives >300 more sweetness as compared to 5% sucrose solution without giving extra calories during consumption. Biochemical properties as well as health benefits of monk fruit including scope for its utilization in food and beverage industries for the development of low calories products for diabetics and health conscious consumers are discussed in this article.
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Monk fruit is indigenous to China and Indonesia and is
one among seven species belonging to genus Siraitia.
Among seven, Siraitia grosvenorii species is principally
cultivated for more than 200 years in Guangxi province of
China which accounts more than 90% of the global
production (Liu et al., 2016a). The fruit of Siraitia
grosvenorii is commonly known worldwide as monk fruit
and regionally as Luo Han Guo. It is a perennial herb and
belongs to family Cucurbitaceae. It contains diverse
bioactive compounds which are considered to be good for
health. Traditionally, the fruit is used as a natural
sweetener of foods and also as a household remedy for
nourishing the lungs, treating sunstroke, dire thirst,
constipation, sore throat, cough and cold (Shen et al.,
2014; Yan et al., 2010). Monk fruit contains essential oil,
saccharides, proteins, vitamins and flavons. It is also rich
in several triterpene glycosides, commonly known as
mogroside (Fig. 1) having high biological effects and
sweet taste (Li et al., 2014). A group of mogroside
principally contains mogroside IV, V and VI, siamenoside
I and 11-oxo-mogroside V, considered to be mainly
responsible for strong sweetening property of monk fruit.
The mogroside extract from ripe monk fruit could be an
ideal replacement of sugar for diabetic and obese patients
due to its high level of sweetness (>300 times) and low
calorific value than sucrose (Fang et al., 2017). The
relative sweetness of individual triterpene glycosides, i.e.
mogroside IV, V, siamenodie I and 11-oxo-mogroside V
were found 392, 425, 563 and 84 times higher than sucrose
(Suzuki et al., 2007). In 1987, China’s Ministry of Health
enlisted monk fruit as an edible species and medicine. The
countries like Australia, Japan, United States and New
Zealand also approved the products of monk fruit as a
dietary supplement. Japan approved mogroside V as a
natural sweetening agent. Whereas, in 2010, the extract of
monk fruit was approved in USA as generally recognized
as safe (GRAS) for non-nutritive sweetening and flavor
enhancing purpose (Tu et al., 2017). The quality
parameters of monk fruit extract containing different level
of mogroside percentage are described as GRAS (Table
1). In recent years, pharmacological studies have shown
several health protective properties of monk fruit such as
liver protection, anti-oxidative, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-
asthmatic, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory action (Li et
al., 2014). Now-a-days, several health protective food
products are also developed by the researchers from monk
fruit such as jam (Shi et al., 2009), chocolate (Heine,
2017), sweet juice (Suzuki et al., 2007; Murray, 2018) etc.
Monk fruit is also introduced as a non-nutritive table top
sweetener by a leading manufacturer. Moreover, the
manufacturers like Coke and Kashi introduced several
products containing monk fruit extract as such (Tu et al.,
2017).
The increasing demand of non-nutritive sweeteners from
natural sources increased the popularity of monk fruit in
international market including nutraceutical, food and
beverage industries (Pawar et al., 2013). But, the
cultivation of monk fruit is restricted to only limited area
of China and Indonesia, therefore, availability of monk
fruit is insufficient and only small amount in the form of
dried fruits and extract are supplied to other countries.
Low production rate and high market demand leads to
higher trade price for monk fruits and its products
(Konoshima and Takasaki, 2002). Several studies
reported that monk fruit is one of the best natural
sweetener substitutes for sucrose, but owing to
unaffordable price, it is restricted to only pharmacological
Monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) - health aspects and food applications
A. K. PANDEY and O. P. CHAUHAN
Fruits and Vegetables Technology Division, Defence Food Research Laboratory, Siddharthanagar, Mysore – 570011
ABSTRACT: Monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) commonly called as Luo Han Guo is a perennial herb and generally cultivated in
Guangxi province of China. Traditionally the fruit was used in folk medicine for the treatment of several common diseases like cough,
cold, sore throat, constipation and dire thirst. Studies over past decades advanced the knowledge of bio-chemical and
pharmacological properties of monk fruit. Till now, several compounds have been identified and isolated from monk fruit, mainly
triterpenoids, flavonoids, essential oils, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and polysaccharides. A triterpene glycoside consists of a
group of mogrosides which are mainly considered to be responsible for higher biological effects of monk fruit. The mogroside extract
of monk fruit gives >300 more sweetness as compared to 5% sucrose solution without giving extra calories during consumption.
Biochemical properties as well as health benefits of monk fruit including scope for its utilization in food and beverage industries for
the development of low calories products for diabetics and health conscious consumers are discussed in this article.
Key words: Luo Han Guo, monk fruit, mogroside, natural sweetener, non-nutritive sweetener
[Vol. 17(3), September-December, 2019] Pantnagar Journal of Research 191
uses. However, there is a great scope for utilization of
monk fruit extract as a sugar alternative in low calories
health protective food for diabetics and obese patient
worldwide. In this article biochemical properties of monk
fruit, its role in preventing several diseases and
application in development of sugar free low calories
foods including studies on development of non-nutritive
natural sweeteners are summarized.
Biochemical Properties of Monk Fruit
Several compounds of different classes, such as
polysaccharides, amino acids, essential oils, flavonoids,
triterpenoids and nucleosides etc. have been identified
and extracted from various parts of monk fruit. The
composition of monk fruit is presented in Table 2;
whereas, the composition of amino acid hydrolysate and
mineral content of monk fruit extract are presented in
Table 3. Glycosides, a group of triterpenoids, are mainly
considered as one of the major biologically active
compound of monk fruit. Development of cucurbitane
glycosides in monk fruit starts at a specific period of time
after pollination. Generally, monk fruit is harvested after
ripening and the development of various mogrosides in
monk fruit starts at different period of time after
pollination and during maturation (Table 4). Till now, up
to thirty cucurbitane glycosides have been identified in
monk fruit (Li et al., 2014). However, only few
compounds, like mogroside III, IV, V and siamenode I,
were studied for their functional properties (Jin and Lee,
2012). The molecular formula and sweetness properties
of widely studied major and minor cucurbitane glycosides
are presented in Table 5.
Role of Monk Fruit on Prevention of Diseases
Anti-hyperglycemic and anti-diabetic property
Monk fruit extract and mogrosides not only work as a
natural sweetener but also exhibit anti-diabetic activity by
enhancing the rate of blood glucose uptake and have
potential benefits for diabetic patients. Several in-vitro
and in-vivo studies were conducted over last decade to
determine the effectiveness of monk fruit extract and
mogrosides on blood glucose level and diabetes.
Mogroside V and some other minor elements of monk
fruit extract can significantly suppress increase in maltose
induced blood glucose level by the inhibition of intestinal
maltase (Suzuki et al., 2005). Oxidative stress is also
found as one of the major causes responsible for
pathogenesis of diabetes. The extract of monk fruit has
high antioxidative properties which can potentially
suppress the oxidative stress mediated diabeties (Song et
al., 2007). Qi et al. (2008) observed that supplementation
of mogrosides extract of monk fruit significantly reduced
the level of oxidative stress, hyperglycemia and
hyperlipidemia in diabetic mice. They also found strong
free radical scavenging activities of mogroside V which is
the major component of mogroside in in-vitro study. The
result showed that administration of monk fruit extract
could be helpful in preventing hyperglycemia and diabetic
complications in human. Zhou et al. (2009) also found
monk fruit extract and mogroside V as a potential natural
sweetener with a low glycemic index. They observed a
significant activity of monk fruit extract and purified
mogroside V for stimulation of insulin secretion in
pancreatic beta cells. Afterwards, Chen et al. (F)
suggested that the product of acid hydrolysis of monk fruit
mogrosides, i.e. triterpenoids, might be potential AMPK
activators in humans. Monk fruit extract can also be used
for sweetening of tea as a natural sugar substitute and is
comparable with sugar sweetened tea. Monk fruit extract
sweetened tea has positive effects on reducing blood
glucose level and metabolism of streptozotocin-induced
diabetic mice (Lee et al., 2016). The level of glucose
tolerance and rate of blood glucose increase can be
decreased by the administration of monk fruit extract
sweetened tea. Monk fruit extract sweetened tea was also
found effective in overcoming problems like weight loss,
li ve r fu nc ti on and lipid metabolism c aused by
streptozotocin-induced diabetes in mice. Li et al. (2017)
purified eighteen mogrosides from the monk fruit extract
and evaluated for their anti-diabetic activity in human
HepG2 cells in-vitro. Their study showed that all
mogrosides isolates of monk fruit extract significantly
increased the glucose uptake in HepG2 cells, but the
mechanism underlying still remains unclear.
Anti-obese property
Obesity is one of the widespread diseases but it causes are
still unclear. According to the report of International
Obesity Task Force (IOTF), obesity is a major life style
related disease observed worldwide. Consumption of high
caloric foods in excess stimulates abnormal excessive
growth of adipose tissue and leads to obesity. Till date,
several therapeutic medicines are developed to suppress
the appetite, inhibit pancreatic lipase or inhibit α-
glucosaccharides etc. to control obesity. However, long
term consumption of these medicines causes adverse
effect on health such as gastrointestinal disorder. Several
studies reported wide pharmacological effects of
Mogrosides. San et al. (2012) studied anti-obesity
property of total mogrosides extracted from monk fruit as
well as, mogrosides IV and V by analyzing there effect on
pancreatic lipase in-vitro. They found significant
inhibitory effect of total mogrosides, mogrosides IV and V
on pancreatic lipase activity. The increase in body weight
as well as triglyceride and total cholesterol level in mice
was suppressed during in-vivo study by the oral
administration of mogrosides. They also observed that
triglyceride content of mice plasma was reduced within 1
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192
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to 3 hr after oral administration of total mogrosides with
lipid emulsion pre-mix.
Anti-fatigue property
Fatigue could be best defined as difficulty in initiating or
sustaining voluntary activities. It is a common symptom in
both sickness and health and can be subcategorized into
physical and mental fatigue. Physical fatigue mainly
arises due to excessive or intense exercise which leads to
not only accumulation of lactic acid in muscles but also
changes energy metabolism. Sensation of muscle fatigue
partially contributes to mental fatigue where lassitude,
sleepiness and reduced motivation are the common
symptoms that can be often observed after intense
exercise. Moreover, patients suffering from cancer
disease also experience fatigue and weakness along with
high levels of pain. Liu et al. (2013) studied monk fruit
extract for its anti-fatigue effect in-vivo model. Their
study includes oral administration of mice with variable
doses of monk fruit extract. They reported that
administration of monk fruit extract increased the
glycogen level of liver and muscle without increasing the
level of serum urea nitrogen and blood lactic acid during
forced swimming test of experimental mice. They also
observed that monk fruit extract significantly improved
physical fatigue of experimental mice but the effect was
dose-dependent.
Anti-cancer property
Natural products have an important role in cancer
prevention. Now-a-days, several chemicals used
clinically for cancer therapy are derived from plant
sources. Konoshima and Takasaki isolated non-nutritive
natural sweeteners from plant source such as stevioside
from Stevia rebaudiana leaves and mogroside V from
monk fruit and studied for their chemo-preventive
properties in-vitro and in-vivo model (Konoshima and
Takasaki, 2002). They used 2 different combinations of
che micals, i.e . pe rox ynitr ite and TPA (12-O-
tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate), DMBA (7, 12-
dimethylbenz anthracene) and TPA to induce two-stage
skin carcinogenesis in-vivo. Their study showed that oral
administration of mogroside V significantly worked
against chemically induced carcinogenesis and had more
potent activity against tumor than glycyrrhizin, a well
known antitumor-promoter in chemical carcinogenesis.
They also observed delay in formation of mice bore
papilloma on TPA promoted two stage mouse skin
carcinogenesis by the treatment of mogroside V. Liu et al.
(2016a) studied anti-pancreatic cancer properties of a
natural food sweetener, mogroside V, extracted from
monk fruit. They found that mogroside V shows a potent
anti-tumor activity against pancreatic cancer by targeting
multiple biological targets such as promoting apoptosis
and cell cycle arrest of pancreatic cancer cells in both in-
vivo and in-vitro models. They demonstrated that
administration of mogroside V might be useful as a
potential drug that can suppress the growth and survival of
pancreatic tumor cells through reducing vascular density
and inhibiting angiogenesis. In another study, Liu et al.
(2016b) also reported that proliferation of colorectal
cancer HT29 and throat cancer Hep-2 cells in culture and
Table 1: US FDA GRAS specification for monk fruit extracts containing different mogroside V concentration
Parameter GRAS Specification Test Method
Assay: Mogroside V >25% to >30% >50% to >95% CP2010
Color Brown Yellow White GB/T 5495-2008
Odor Mild fruity characteristic Mild fruity characteristic GB/T 5495-2008
Taste Sweet Sweet GB/T 5495-2008
Sieve Analysis NLT 95% pass 80 mesh NLT 95% pass 80 mesh CP2010
Method of Extraction Water Water -
Moisture content <5.0% <5.0% USP31-921
Ash <5.0% <5.0% USP31-281
Mercury (Hg) <0.1 ppm <0.1 ppm USP39<2232>
Arsenic (As) <0.5 ppm <0.5 ppm USP39<2232>
Cadmium (Cd) <0.05 ppm <0.05 ppm USP39<2232>
Lead (Pb) <0.5 ppm <0.5 ppm USP39<2232>
Residual Ethanol <500 ppm <500 ppm USP 37
Total Plate Count <1000 cfu/g <1000 cfu/g AOAC 990.12
Salmonella Negative Negative AOAC 2004.03
Yeast & Mold <100 cfug <100 cfug ISO21527-1:2008
E. coli Negative Negative AOAC 991.14
GB/T = Recommended Chinese National Standard; cfu = Colony Forming Units; CP = Chinese Pharmacopia; AOAC =
Association of Official Analytical Chemists; USP = United States Pharmacopeia (Source: GRAS, 2017).
in xenografted mice can be inhibited by mogroside IVe in
a dose dependent manner. T hey obse rv ed that
biologically-active phytochemical of monk fruit, i.e.
mogroside IVe, worked as a potential supplement for the
treatment of patients suffering from colorectal and throat
cancers.
Monk Fruit in Food Processing
Sweet foods are highly relished by the consumers and
popular worldwide. Sugar is the natural sweetener widely
used for sweetening of food products. In food and
beverage industries manufacturers generally use sugar in
the form of sucrose, fructose and glucose to increase the
sweetness of their products. Several studies revealed
harmful effects of sugar consumption in humans. Aside
from causing hyperglycemia and diabetes, excess intake
of nutritive sweeteners may also results low immune
response, metabolic disorders, dental problems, cancer,
etc. (Woodyer et al., 2018). Now-a-days, consumers are
aware of the harmful effect of refined sugar, which
decreases their tendency to consume high sugar
containing foods and beverages. Therefore, innovative
and customized uses of non-nutritive natural sweeteners
are encouraged for focused use and optimal benefits. The
use of natural sweetener in functional foods has several
benefits like providing required sweetness without giving
extra calories, prevent radical increase in blood glucose
level and does not have side-effects during long term
consumption. There are several known non-nutritive
sweeteners used in food processing to reduce adverse
effect of traditionally refined sugar. However, monk fruit
extract is found to be one of the most suitable low calorie
natural sugar substitutes. It is particularly effective during
treatment of diseases which require low or moderate sugar
intake such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart
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194
Table 2: Composition of fresh monk fruit
Composition Content Reference
Fat 0.8%
Protein 7.1-7.8%
Polysaccharides 2.88-5.65%
Total sugar 25.17% - 38.31%
Reducing sugar 16.11-32.4%
Glucose 0.8% (Xia, 2006; Li and Xiao, 2008)
Fructose 1.5%
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) 338 mg/100 g
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 123 mg/100 g
Ascrobic acid (Vitamin C) 339-461 mg/100 g
Total flavones 5-10 mg/100 g
Total glycosides 1.19 mg/100 g
Table 3: The amino acid hydrolysate and mineral composition of fresh monk fruit extract
Amino acid hydrolysate Minerals Reference
Amino Acids Content g/100g (db) Element Content (ppm) Element Content (ppm)
Aspartic acid 0.90 Mn 22.70 V 00.20
Threonine 0.25 Fe 29.20 Co 00.10
Serine 0.35 Ni 01.80 Se 00.20
Glutamic acid 0.55 Zn 12.80 Sn 00.20
Glycine 0.36 Mg 550.00 As 00.10
Alamine 0.53 Ca 667.50 I 01.00 (Moore, 1999;
Cystine 0.24 Pb 00.07 Si 645.00 Xia 2006)
Valine 0.47 Cu 00.50 F 00.90
Methionine 0.20 K 12290.80 Mo 00.40
Isolucine 0.40 Na 16.50 - -
Leucine 0.50 Cd 00.02 - -
Tyrosine 0.28 Sr 01.70 - -
Phenylalanine 0.32 Ba 03.30 - -
Lysine 0.31 Cr 00.50 - -
Histine 0.18 Al 07.70 - -
Arginine 1.28 Be 0.01 - -
Proline 0.27 Ti 00.30 - -
disease (Li et al., 2014). Over last decades, several studies
confirmed pharmacological properties of monk fruit
extract and its effectiveness against chronic diseases.
Currently, researchers are also willing to establish monk
fruit as a natural substitute of sugar in developing
functional foods which have multiple health benefits
against life style related problems (Konoshima and
Takasaki, 2002;Chen et al., 2011; Heine, 2017).
The effect of processing on functional properties of monk
fruit extract is also one of the major concerns while
developing functional foods. Vacuum drying of monk
fruit extract retains higher amount of major glycosides
when compared with traditional drying methods (Zhou
and Zhu, 2014). However, till date, only few products
such as a non-nutritive sugar, syrup, jam, chocolate food
product and skim chocolate milk etc. have been developed
using monk fruit as a non-nutritive natural sweetener. Shi
et al. (2009) patented a process for developing syrup and
jam from monk fruit, where peel and pulp of fruit was
extracted in continuous boiling water. They developed
syrup and jam comprising natural flavor of whole monk
fruit extracts with sugar-free, low calorie and low
glycemic index properties. They found that developed
syrup could be a better replacement of refined sugar in all
sorts of situations like baking and cooking formulations,
sweetening of tea or coffee or can be used as breakfast
syrup. They also claimed that syrup and jam have a
therapeutic function against diabetics as well as beneficial
to people who worry about their health due to high calorie
and sugar intake.
Dark chocolate contains high percentage of cocoa but the
consumption of chocolates by diabetics still remains
problematic. Many individuals especially those who are
suffering from diabetics avoid consuming cocoa based
chocolates due to its high sugar, fat and starch content.
Despite added benefits of cocoa most of the chocolates
available in the market are still rich in sugar and fat
including dark chocolate. A few chocolates developed
re cently with sugar substitute cont ain complex
c ar b o h yd r at e s s u c h a s s ta r c h , m al t i t ol ,
[Vol. 17(3), September-December, 2019] Pantnagar Journal of Research 195
Table 4: Emergence of glycosides, sweetening properties and harvesting period of Monk fruit
S. No. Sweetening components Period after pollination Reference
1 Mogroside II E 5 days
2 Mogroside III 30 days, highest content after 55 days
3 Flavonol glycosides 40-50 days
4 Mogroside V 50 days (Li et al., 2014)
5 Mogroside IV A and Mogroside IV E 55 days and reach to highest after 70 days
6 Development of main sweet component 85 days
7 Harvesting Period 90 days
Table 5: Some known cucubitane glycoside compounds isolated from monk fruit
Major cucurbitane glycosides
S. No. Sweet glycosides Chemical formula Sweetness property in comparison to 5 % sucrose solution
1 Mogroside IV C54H92O24*H2O 392 time more sweetness
2 Mogroside V C60H102O29*2H2O 425 time more sweetness
3 Mogroside VI C66H112O34 Less Sweeter than Mogroside V
Minor cucurbitane glycosides
4 Siamenoside I C54H92O24*7/2H2O 563 time more sweetness
5 11 – OXO – mogroside V C60H100O29*7/2H2O Organoleptically sweet
6 Mogroside II E C42H82O19 Taste less
7 Mogroside III C48H82O19 Taste less
8 Mogroside III E C48H82O19 Taste less
9 Mogroside A C42H92O14*3H2O -
10 Neomogroside C66H112O34*5H2O -
11 Mogroester C44H92O4 -
12 Grosmomoside I C54H92O24 -
(Source: Xia, 2006 )
Fig. 1: Mogroside structure
isomaltooligosaccharides, crytritol etc. to provide texture,
sweetness, mouth-feel and stability to the developed
product. These added complex carbohydrates are
undesirable due to their impact in digestion and insulin
secretion during the time. Heine developed a chocolate
food product free from added sugar using monk fruit blend
preferably monk fruit fiber and fruit extract that have
smooth flavor profile of chocolate (Heine, 2017). The
developed chocolate food was low in fat and complex
carbohydrates which could be beneficial to those who are
insulin resistant or suffering from diabetes or have
sensitivity towards sugar, gluten and indigestion.
Several studies were conducted in recent years to optimize
the extraction efficiency of sweetening compounds and
development of various sweetening compositions
containing monk fruit. Zhang and Li (2017) developed a
commercial process for extraction and purification of
mogroside V from monk fruit. The extraction efficiency of
the process can be increased up to 90% for commercial
operation but higher extraction could increase the overall
cost of production. They found that the taste profile of
extracted mogroside V extract is similar to refined sugar
and can be blended with variety of foods and beverages to
reduce negative properties and customize sweetening
goals.
Turner studied the effect of va rious s we etener
compositions including natural sweeteners (Turner,
2017). They compared natural sugar composition
containing stevia or monk fruit and their combination with
various compositions of conventional as well as non-
conventional sugars such as saccharine, dextrose,
ribaudios id e, suc ra lose e tc . Natu ra l swee te ner
composition has shown similar properties as in
conventional sugar during various quality tests like sugar
similarity test, yellow cake bake test, caramelization test,
chocolate bar test and tea test, whereas, non-conventional
sweetener failed the test. However, natural sweeteners
were also found to have positive effect on glycemic test
and repression test beyond the property of conventional
sugar.
Recent studies show that development of non-caloric
natural sugar containing mogrosides extract of monk fruit
exhibit an off-taste and less desirable sensory profile.
Studies show that presence of some mogrosides is
responsible for development of off-flavor and/or
undesirable sensory profile of natural sweeteners.
Although, Quinlan and Zhou (2017) developed a non-
caloric sweetener composition with improved taste and
reduced aftertaste using naturally obtained glycosides.
Th e developed sweetener composi ti on co ntains
mogroside extract of monk fruit and sweet steviol
glycosides of Stevia rebaudiana i.e. rebaudiosides A and
B. Th ey claime d th at the developed sweetener
compositions are useful for non-caloric replacement of
sugar in almost all foods and beverages. They also
reported that the addition of rebaudioside B to a threshold
level helps to reduce the perceived bitterness and taste
profile and, therefore, improved the acceptability of
developed sweetener composition. Woodyer et al. (2018)
developed a natural sweetener composition using allulose
and a single mogroside extract of monk fruit with
improved taste and sensory profile. Allulose, a
monosaccharide, is a known rare sugar available naturally
in very small amount. It provides only around 70% of the
sweetness and around 5% calories compared to sucrose.
They found that the small amount of developed
composition is required to achieve similar properties as
sucrose with a significant reduction in calories. The
developed composition can be used for satisfying the wide
aspects of food and beverage industries including pharma
products, sports products, cosmetics and also can be used
as a table top sweetener.
Future Prospects of Monk Fruit
Literature reports suggest a wide scope for utilization of
monk fruit in food and beverage industries including
nutralceutical and pharmaceutical industries but very few
studies are available on functional foods containing monk
fruit extract or powder for targeted benefits (Heine, 2017;
Liu et al., 2016; Shi et al., 2009). Effect of thermal
processing of monk fruit still remains unclear, however, a
few studies reported that the monk fruit extract can be
used to develop low caloric sweetened bakery products
where processing temperature generally remains above
150°C (Zhou and Zhu, 2014). Therefore, studies on effect
of high temperature processing on known benefits of non-
nutritive natural sweeteners including monk fruit need to
be carried out. Till date, most of the sweetened products
available in the market contain high caloric natural
sweetening agents and could be replaced partially or
completely using non-nutritive natural sweeteners. Use of
monk fruit extract as a natural sweetening agent in foods
and beverages can reduce the threat associated with
today’s life style and could also be beneficial to those who
are suffering from diabetics and other diseases where low
or controlled caloric intake is required. Studies on effect
of non-nutritive natural sweeteners including mogrosides
and monk fruit extract on humans during long term
consumption could be a novel area of research in
upcoming years.
CONCLUSION
Monk fruit is an excellent source of triterpinoids, a group
of mogrosides responsible for higher sweetness and
pharmacological properties of fruit. Mogroside extract of
monk fruit gives higher (>300 times) sweetness as
compared to sucrose with low or no caloric value. Several
foods sweetened with mogrosides or monk fruit extract
have shown significant reduction in glycemic index and
[Vol. 17(3), September-December, 2019]Pantnagar Journal of Research
196
diabeties . T he non -n utritive na tural sw eetener
compositions developed using monk fruit have also
shown similar taste and other sensory attributes as
sucrose. As such, monk fruit as sweetener shows a wide
scope for its use as a table top sweetener as well as in
diff eren t f ood , con fe ctio na ry, b ever a ge and
pharmaceutical industries.
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