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Can Luo Han Guo save the obese world?

作者: 合健生物    来源:  Chang Sha Heking Biotechnology Co., Ltd.    时间: 2020-11-18

Momordica grosvenori is a unique medicinal and edible plant in China. Legend is that it was first discovered and used by monks in Guilin in the 13th century, but its earliest documentary records appeared in the Qing Dynasty. It is mainly distributed in China's Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan and other provinces, among which Guangxi's output accounts for 80% to 90% of the world. Although New Zealand and other countries have planted them, they are all introduced from China or Southeast Asia.

In the past, Momordica grosvenori could only be harvested once a year. With the increase in market demand, the scope of the cultivation of Momordica grosvenori is continuously expanding, and through traditional breeding and field management, it has been possible to harvest two crops a year.

1 Luo Han Guo = 1 kg of white sugar

Luo Han Guo has a small amount of natural sugars, mainly glucose and fructose. However, it is different from ordinary fruits. Its sweetness mainly comes from the glycosides in it. In addition, there are also ingredients such as mannitol that provide a small amount of sweetness. In the 1970s, American and Japanese scientists separately studied the sweetness source of Luo Han Guo and discovered mogroside. This is a substance called "cucurbitacin triterpene saponins" whose sweetness can reach hundreds of times that of sucrose. It is estimated that 1 dried Luo Han Guo fruit (calculated at 15 grams on average) contains natural sweetness components equivalent to the sweetness produced by 1 kg of white sugar.

Safe and reliable for both food and medicine

Although there are few studies on the safety of Luo Han Guo, it has hundreds of years of edible and medicinal history in Southeast Asia, and no side effects have been recorded. Momordica grosvenori is the first batch of “medicinal and edible substances” approved by China, which shows that the government has full confidence in its safety. China has also approved mogroside as a food sweetener.

The United States approved Luo Han Guo to be used in food and beverages in 2009, and granted the "GRAS" treatment of Luo Han Guo extract, which means that it is very safe for its safety. In addition, the official departments of Canada, Japan, Singapore and other countries have also recognized the safety of Luo Han Guo, indicating that children, diabetics, pregnant women and nursing mothers can eat it. Recently, Chinese Luo Han Guo enterprises have submitted relevant technical documents to the EU. If nothing happens, it will be approved by the EU as a sweetener for food.

Traditional Chinese medicine believes that Luo Han Guo has the effects of moisturizing the lung, relieving cough, and eliminating phlegm, but its mechanism has not been studied deeply. Modern scientific research shows that mogroside has certain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. For example, it can prevent free radicals from damaging DNA. In animal experiments, it has shown certain anti-cancer properties, such as preventing skin cancer in mice, but its anti-cancer mechanism is still unclear. In experiments with diabetic mice, Luo Han Guo extract helped to lower blood sugar and increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. There are many other evidences in the literature, but you can't expect too much of Luo Han Guo, because the doses used in these studies are far greater than the amount that a normal person might take.

Great prospects for industrial applications

Mogroside is stable to heat, stable to acid and alkali, has good water solubility, and does not have obvious metal taste, bitterness, astringency and other taste defects, so it is widely used in the food industry. At present, the natural sweetener extracted from Luo Han Guo has become a product that keeps pace with stevia. Of course, how to obtain a taste comparable to that of sucrose requires further research and experimentation in the food industry.

Momordica grosvenori only needs simple extraction, using water and food grade ethanol, no further purification or crystallization is required, and the obtained powder or liquid extract can be directly used in food. The extract does not contain glucose and fructose, and is mainly composed of multiple glycosides. According to the type and content of glycosides, the sweetness of Luo Han Guo extract can reach 100 to 250 times that of white sugar. Sometimes, food companies even need to mix inulin, sugar alcohol and other substances with Luo Han Guo extract to reduce the sweetness.

As artificial sweeteners are often questioned by public opinion, natural sweeteners have become a future development trend. With the development of European and American markets, the Luo Han Guo industry still has a lot of room for development.

Help lose weight? Better to control your diet

Luo Han Guo extract provides almost no energy. With the globalization of excess dietary energy, it is receiving more and more attention.

It has high sweetness, good stability, and can replace sugar in whole or in part. For example, it can replace sugar 100% in beverages, and in baked goods and chocolate, it can replace about 50% of sugar in combination with stevia.

Of course, the role of sweeteners in controlling weight

There are different opinions in the academic circles. Most studies believe that sweeteners can help control weight, but the effect is not significant; a few studies have found that sweeteners have no effect on weight control at all, and even have an adverse effect. My opinion is that weight control mainly depends on your determination to control your diet, not sweeteners. For example, studies have found that people who actively choose sugar-free beverages or sugar-free foods also control their intake of fat, added sugar, and alcohol. If you have such determination, I believe Luo Han Guo can really help you.