• 2021 BUYING GUIDE •
On my quest to discover all zero-calorie monk fruit sweeteners available to you on store shelves, I found about 100 products. See the complete list and how they compare.
First, What is Monk Fruit?
Sugar substitutes commonly known as monk fruit contain extracts from the plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle fruit. It is a perennial vine of the cucumber and melon family grown only in China. The fruit has the size and shape of a lemon.
Chemically speaking, the sweet components extracted from monk fruit are called mogrosides. Many mogrosides (named I, II, III, IV, V, and VI) are present in amounts that vary from 0.5 to 1% in the dried fruit.
Mogroside V is the major sweet component in extracts from ripened fruits and is also the sweetest of all—100 to 250x sweeter than table sugar. According to a producer, with a farm and processing facilities in Guilin, almost 85 pounds of monk fruit produce one pound of extract.
On this page, you'll see all the zero-calorie monk fruit products and brands I found in stores. Because you have so many choices, I sorted them based on their ingredients—from pure extract to blends with water or fillers. You may choose to buy them in solid form (granulated, tablets, cubes) or liquid (drops and syrups), so keep reading to find out which one is best for you.
MONK FRUIT BRANDS & PRODUCTS
There is A LOT to see here. Scroll down to explore it all or, if you are short on time, make your choice below:
Monk Fruit | Pure ExtractMonk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | LiquidMonk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | with ErythritolMonk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | with InulinMonk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit | with GlucoseMonk fruit, also called luo han guo fruit, is a small green fruit of the Chinese plant Siraitia grosvenorii Swingle. The sweet components in the fruit, referred to as mogrosides, are 230 to 425 times sweeter than table sugar.
Monk Fruit + SteviaStevia is the term used to refer to steviol glycosides (highly refined extracts from the leaves of the stevia plant)
Monk fruit is the term used to refer to mogrosides (extracts obtained from the luo han guo fruit)
Monk Fruit | Powdered & GoldenPowdered Sugar Replacement with monk fruit extract | Brown Sugar Replacement with monk fruit extract
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Is There a Monk Fruit Without Any Additives or Fillers?
The first monk fruit sweeteners I list contain pure fruit extract. They are super sweet, so a little goes a long way. Many products come with their own little measuring spoons, but if they don't, you can buy your own mini measuring spoon set or a complete set like this one. Start with the amount recommended by the seller and adjust to taste.
Use monk fruit pure extract for sweetening purposes only and not for other culinary roles.
Can you bake with pure monk fruit or substitute it for sugar? Yes, but keep in mind that they don't offer bulk (volume and weight). They don't contribute to texture, shelf life, moisture retention, color, and aroma. They are perfect for coffee, tea, and other drinks.
The sweetness and color of pure monk fruit crystals vary depending on the mogroside V concentration in the extract—from 7 to 50 percent. Mogroside V50 means an extract with a 50:50 ratio mogroside V and fruit pulp. It is whiter and the sweetest of all extracts I've found in stores. Mogroside V25 has about half the sweetness and a light beige color. Crystals' size ranges from medium (sugar-like) to coarse (demerara-like).
Does Monk Fruit Come In Liquid Form?
Liquid monk fruit sweeteners are blends of monk fruit extract and water. Flavors, preservatives, or both are often added to improve taste and maintain freshness. Some products have other ingredients (glycerin, erythritol, or maltodextrin) to mask off-flavors. Monk fruit syrups contain gums to make them viscous.
Monk fruit drops and syrups are mainly recommended for sweetening purposes as they provide no bulk (volume and mass) to our recipes. Liquid monk fruit works best in foods that don't require sugars for texture, shelf life, moisture retention, color, and aroma. They offer a convenient way to sweeten coffee, tea, and other drinks on-the-go.
Why is Monk Fruit Combined With Erythritol?
I'm often asked, Why is monk fruit mixed with erythritol and other fillers? The reason is monk fruit extracts in pure form are super sweet. A good rule of thumb is just 1/64 of a teaspoon of monk fruit extracts is as sweet as 1 teaspoon of sugar. Because they provide sweet taste with tiny volume and weight, sugar substitutes often need fillers or bulking agents to have an overall resemblance to table sugar (to learn more, go here >>>).
The most common bulking agent in monk fruit sweeteners is erythritol. Others include glucose, maltodextrin, inulin, allulose, and tagatose. Bulking agents not only improve the taste of monk fruit extracts but also make it easier for you to measure sugar substitutes at home. Instead of having to measure or weigh minuscule amounts, you can use measuring tools you have in your kitchen.
Common questions I get include: How do I substitute monk fruit for sugar? How much monk fruit equals one teaspoon (cup or tablespoon) of sugar? The answer depends on the product you are using.
Some monk fruit sweeteners are 1:1 sugar replacement, i.e., spoon for spoon, they are as sweet as table sugar. Others are 2:1 (2 teaspoons of sugar is as sweet as 1 teaspoon of monk fruit) up to 12:1. To find out how sweet a product is, you need to pay attention not only to the brand but also the type.
For example, the Lakanto brand has several types of monk fruit sweeteners—Classic, Golden, Powdered, Baking, Organic, Pure Extract, Lakanto Liquid, Simple Syrup, Classic Packets, Golden Packets—and they don't always have the same sweetness. On this page, all infographics list the product's amount needed to replace one teaspoon of sugar.
Monk Fruit Sweeteners
Do all monk fruit sweeteners have erythritol? No, but most do. I've found about 50 monk fruit erythritol blends and list them here. Erythritol (Ah-REETH-ra-tall) is currently one of the most popular sweeteners. It is promoted as "natural," zero-calories, tooth-friendly, well-tolerated in the digestive system, and zero effect on blood sugar levels. However, it's less sweet than table sugar and creates a cooling (cold) sensation when dissolved in the mouth—which feels like we are sucking a mint (without the mint flavor). When blended with monk fruit, erythritol's taste is improved.
I wrote extensively about erythritol in two blog posts: Erythritol: Powdered vs. Granulated and Sweetener Review: Erythritol | Is it Really "Natural" and The Perfect Sweetener?. I also have a page called Erythritol Buying Guide, where I showcase all sweeteners containing erythritol in stores in 2020.
What's Golden Monk Fruit?
Golden or gold monk fruit is a brown sugar replacement. It's a 1:1 substitute for light brown sugar. Their crystals are dry, free-flowing, and look more like demerara sugar than a regular light brown sugar. Learn the difference between all types of brown sugars by reading my Complete Guide to Brown Sugars—from Unrefined to Raw and Refined.
What's Powdered Monk Fruit?
Granulated vs. Crystalized vs. Powdered Monk Fruit. Monk fruit sweeteners come in a variety of crystals size—from granulated and crystallized, to powdered. What one seller calls granulated monk fruit, might be called crystallized by another. Powdered monk fruit, as the name implies, is a replacement for regular powdered sugar as it contains finely ground erythritol or allulose combined with monk fruit extract. Granulated monk fruit is usually the same as crystallized and their crystals look more like table sugar.
Monk Fruit & Stevia Blend
Is Monk Fruit Sweetener Safe?
Yes, monk fruit extracts are approved as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) ingredients. As opposed to what most people say, it is not a food additive. Monk fruit extracts are sold in stores with various mogroside V content—from 7 to 50 percent. If you are looking for details on how extracts are made, refer to each GRAS notice submitted by the manufacturer for FDA review. Monk fruit extracts are approved by the Food and Drug Administration as "natural" non-nutritive sweeteners (0 cal/g).
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