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September, 2012 Issue

Monk Fruit, New Natural Sweetener

Legend has it that the monk fruit, commonly called by its Chinese name luo han guo or luo han kuo, gained its name from the Buddhist monks who cultivated the fruit centuries ago in southern China. It provided folk remedies for numerous ailments, such as coughing, constipation, and sunstroke. Monk fruit is now making its debut in the U.S., appearing in a range of products, from granola to cocktails. This small, dark-green melon contains an intensely sweet compound called mogroside, which is the star ingredient in this new generation sweetener.

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