FDA approval for BioVittoria zero-calorie sweetener

New Zealand natural sweetener company BioVittoria has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its fruit-based zero-calorie sweetener.

The Hamilton-based company announced that the FDA had classed its Fruit-Sweetness branded monk fruit concentrate as GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) as a sweetener and flavour enhancer.

The FDA’s no objections letter was the final step in bringing monk fruit into the mainstream, said chief executive David Thorrold.

“This final piece of regulatory compliance is what the large food and beverage companies have been waiting for.”

The sweetener is made from Chinese-grown luo han fruit which is 200 times sweeter than cane sugar.

It sells for about NZ$450kg, mostly to beverage, food and confectionery manufacturers.

BioVittoria expects to process 3000 tonnes of fruit from Miao and Yao hill tribe growers in mountainous areas of southern China.

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