by Donald E. Pszczola
The launch of Purefruit™ monk fruit extract was celebrated at a food- and drink-tasting event, hosted by New Orleans Chef John Besh at Tate & Lyle, Booth 6229, on Sunday, June 12, from 3:30–5 p.m. Besh prepared several dessert and cocktail recipes using the natural fruit-based, calorie-free sweetener solution.
Tate & Lyle recently entered into a five-year strategic partnership agreement with New Zealand-based BioVittoria, a producer and processor of monk fruit. According to the agreement, Tate & Lyle receives exclusive global marketing and distribution rights for BioVittoria’s monk fruit extract which will be sold in the United States under the Purefruit brand name. Using proprietary, natural methods, the Tate & Lyle research team has further refined and improved the taste of its Purefruit products for a variety of commercial applications, although BioVittoria will continue management of the monk fruit extract supply line, including seedling cultivation, the grower network, and natural processing.
Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is native to Southeast Asia where it has been in use for hundreds of years. Its pulp is steeped in hot water to release a natural, calorie-free sweetening ingredient that is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. Monk fruit extract received a letter in January 2010 stating that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had no questions after receipt of BioVitoria’s GRAS notification. The extract made from monk fruit can help reduce sugar and calories in a variety of formulations, including beverages, dairy products, cereals, confections, and bakery products.
“In addition to its great taste, Purefruit enables a ‘sweetened with fruit extract’ label claim, which our research shows is extremely appealing to consumers,” noted Karl Kramer, President, Innovation & Commercial Development, for Tate & Lyle. He also noted that the agreement with BioVittoria has expanded Tate & Lyle’s broad portfolio of wellness ingredients and helped to advance the company’s strategy of extending its leadership position as a global provider of specialty food ingredient solutions.
The monk fruit extract is one of several ingredients that Tate & Lyle is highlighting at IFT Food Expo. For example, soluble corn fiber, Promitor 85, is featured in such prototypes as hummus chips and curry salsa. Other ingredients include Splenda sucralose in Arnold Palmer Tea and Lemonade, instant granular starch in key lime filling, instant pregel starch in whipped cheesecake, and food systems for sour cream.
At the food and drink tasting event attendees were able to watch Chef Besh as he demonstrated the benefits of monk fruit as a natural sweetener solution. Attendees were also eligible to win a dinner for four on Monday, June 13 at Besh’s popular New Orleans restaurant August. Executive chef, TV personality, and cookbook author, Besh has set the benchmark for fine dining in New Orleans with six successful restaurants.