Vitafoods 2018

Monk fruit and stevia blend can hit the sweet spot in Europe, says Layn

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese supplier Layn is driving efforts to bring monk fruit into use in Europe, saying that its stevia-monk fruit blend Lovia can offer an answer to the taste issues associated with stevia.

Lovia is available in China and the US, and Guilin Layn Natural Ingredients has applied to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for a scientific opinion in Europe: hoping for a favorable outcome by the end of the year.

Advantages of monk fruit: taste, price, and sweetness

Monk fruit, according to Layn’s European president Luca Pennestri, is a ‘pleasant, soft, long-lasting sweetener’ - which in a blend can help tackle the bitter aftertaste associated with stevia.

"It does improve the the taste, mask that aftertaste stevia has, and this is an issue a lot of players in the industry are trying to solve,"​ said Pennestri, speaking at Vitafoods in Geneva this month. 

In some products stevia works well, but in others with sweeter profiles – say for example apple juice, flavored water, or dairy – monk fruit can offer advantages, he said.

Monk fruit is around three-and-a-half times more expensive than stevia, and so the Lovia blend can bring the benefits of monk fruit at a reduced price, continued Pennestri.

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