Thursday, 20 April 2017

2013 Monk Fruit Extract Authorized for Use in Tabletop Sweeteners in Canada

Health Canada’s Food Directorate has concluded a premarket safety and efficacy assessment of monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii) extract in response to a food additive submission requesting permission to use the extract in tabletop sweeteners. According to the consultation document released by Health Canada, it assessed “toxicological, chemical, microbiological, nutritional, and technical aspects of the proposal,” and has authorized the extract for use under outlined conditions.1 
Monk fruit, which is endemic to Asia and a member of the melon family, contains sweetening compounds called mogrosides. The monk fruit extract assessed is prepared by way of “water extraction, filtration, and selective concentration of the sweetening components.”1 Mogroside V, the main sweetening compound present in monk fruit extract, is 300-400 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar).1 
Although monk fruit extract is not an approved food additive in the European Union, Australia, or New Zealand, the US Food and Drug Administration has allowed two Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) determinations in the United States for monk fruit extract with mogroside V content of 25 percent, 45 percent, or 55 percent.1 In 2010, New Zealand-based BioVittoria’s GRAS determination was approved; the company partners with Tate & Lyle PLC to supply monk fruit extract to a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.2 In 2011, GRAS determination was accepted for Guilin LAYN Natural Ingredients Corporation’s monk fruit extract line, marketed by LAYN USA as Go-Luo®.3 Safety studies examined by Health Canada, including those investigating the extract’s effects in diabetic and non-diabetic humans, motivated Health Canada’s decision add it to its List of Approved Sweeteners.

—Ash Lindstrom

1. Health Canada. Consultation Document on Health 
Canada’s Proposal to Enable the Use of a New Food Additive, Monk Fruit Extract (Luo Han Guo Extract), as a Sweetener in Table-Top Sweeteners [release]. Ottowa, Ontario: Health Canada; 2013. Available at:
2. Anthony M, Fusaro D. Understanding monk fruit: the next generation natural sweetener. Food Processing. Available at: Accessed April 5, 2013.
3. LAYN USA, Inc. Health Canada’s Food Directorate Approves Monk Fruit for Use in Canada [release]. Newport Beach, CA: LAYN USA, Inc; 2013. Available at: