General regarded as safe
Monk Fruit has been classified as ‘Generally Regarded as Safe’ (GRAS) by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even better, there aren’t any known side effects to consuming monk fruit.
In fact, there are many health benefits associated with monk fruit!
Some people may react to additives that are mixed with monk fruit such as erythritol.
Additives can cause problems
Monk fruit extract is approximately 250x sweeter than sugar. As a result manufacturers may mix it with sugar substitutes that are less sweet than sugar in order to create a product that is just as sweet as sugar. Typically an additive such as erythritol is used.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that was discovered in 1848. It is naturally occurring in some fruit and fermented foods such as soy sauce and miso bean paste. Erythritol is about 60% as sweet as sugar, does not affect blood sugar and has almost no calories.
Some people can react to erythritol with gas, bloating and occasional loose stool. See this post for more information.
This intestinal upset usually happens because the manufacturer used a low quality erythritol based on “enzymatically hydrolyzed genetically modified corn”. Switching to a high quality monk fruit sweetener that uses erythritol made using natural fermentation and non-GMO components will usually resolve the issue.
USDA certified organic is safest
In order to save costs manufacturers may sometimes use GMO based erythritol, harsh solvents such as hexane or other dangerous manufacturing techniques.
We recommend always using a USDA certified organic monk fruit sweetener to ensure there are no residues from pesticides and that a solvent and chemical free process is used during production.
I recommend The Grinning Monk monk fruit sweetener!