by Jonathan Benson | Natural News
McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, maker of the artificial sweetener Splenda, is gearing up to introduce a new “natural” sweetener known as Nectresse that will cater specifically to those looking for a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugar.
But is Nectresse really as natural as McNeil claims it is, or is the product just another example of tricky marketing hype aimed at health-conscious consumers?
According to the Nectresse website, the product is “100 percent natural,” and is made from the heat-stable extract of an Asian melon known as monk fruit, or Lo Han. McNeil claims that Nectresse contains zero calories per serving, and that monk fruit is 150 times sweeter than sugar, which means that consumers do not need to use very much of it to effectively sweeten foods and beverages.
Nectresse contains other additives besides monk fruit
But monk fruit is not the only ingredient in Nectresse, nor is it even the primary ingredient. The first and most abundant ingredient in Nectresse is actually erythritol, a sugar alcohol commonly derived from corn, the vast majority of which has been genetically modified (GM) in the U.S. And the second ingredient in Nectresse is sugar, which is refined and more than likely comes from GM sugar beets.
The third ingredient in Nectresse is monk fruit, which McNeil explains is extracted using a natural process involving both water and heat rather than chemicals — this is good.
But the fourth and final ingredient in Nectresse is molasses, which once again is a sugar that more than likely was derived from GM sugar beets — producers that use sugar from sugar cane, after all, typically indicate this on their ingredient labels.