Monk fruit

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Dried monk fruit showing the dried pulp inside
Fresh monk fruit

Monk fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii), also known as Buddha fruit, or arhat fruit (Simplified Chinese: 罗汉果 ; Traditional Chinese: 羅漢果; Pinyin: luó hàn guǒ; Cantonese:lo4 hon3 gwo2), is the fruit of a vine native to Guangxi province is southern China. Monk fruit is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar [1] and has been used as a natural low calorie sweetener in China and Japan for centuries. New Zealand company, BioVittoria is marketing monk fruit sweetener to food and beverage companies in the US [2], where it has been given GRAS (generally recognised as safe) status. It is not as yet approved for use in Europe [2]

The fruit is normally sold dried, when it is a brown color as opposed to the green of the fresh fruit, and the pulp is used for making cooling drinks [3], and in soups [4] and stews.

As with many foodstuffs in China, it also has an important role in traditional Chinese medicine [5].

References

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