In a Euromonitor report published in late May, health and wellness analysts tout Stevia, also known as sweetleaf or sugarleaf, as a potential gamechanger that could revolutionizing the food industry. Though consumers are being bombarded with a slew of messages that urge them to avoid the consumption of empty calories, monkfruit and Stevia are not like artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which has developed a bad rap for being an artificial chemical having a distinct aftertaste.
Stevia and monkfruit are being hailed as “all-natural” and have been used in Asia and South America for many years. Stevia is part of the sunflower family and is a zero-calorie sweetener 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Chinese monkfruit, on the other hand, looks like a small, green melon and grows on steep, forested mountains in southwest China. It’s also said to be 300 times sweeter than sugar.