Sweeteners from plants—with emphasis on Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) and Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle)

Abstract

In addition to their widely recognized use as dietary supplement ingredients, plant-derived compounds are increasingly used as natural sweeteners. The search for nonnutritive sweeteners has been stimulated over the last 20–30 years by concern over demonstrated or suspected relationships between consumption of sucrose and high-fructose corn syrups and a variety of health-related conditions. In the USA, there is increased use of plant extracts known to contain highly sweet terpenoids. Purified extracts of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) containing the diterpene glycosides stevioside and rebaudioside A are popular as sweeteners and are also used as dietary supplements, and soft drinks and nutritional and energy shakes incorporating extracts of Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle) fruits containing sweet triterpene glycosides such as mogroside V are also on the market. Here, we review recent studies on these two important sources of noncaloric natural sweeteners, including analytical methods used to identify and quantify specific constituents and structural features relating to their sweetness. We also review the generally recognized as safe status of specific components and their status with respect to review by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. 1.

    Verbanic C (1986) Chem Bus 8:29–31

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Inglett GE (1976) J Toxicol Environ Health 2:207–214

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2012) Licorice root. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/licoriceroot. Accessed 21 Nov 2012

  4. 4.

    Hussain RA, Kinghorn AD, Soejarto DD (1988) Econ Bot 42:267–283

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Kitagawa I (2002) Pure Appl Chem 74:1189–1198

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Kinghorn AD, Chin Y-W, Pan L, Jia Z (2010) In: Mander L, Liu H-W (eds) Comprehensive natural products II: chemistry and biology, vol 3. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 269–315

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Brouwer JN, van der Wel H, Francke A, Henning GJ (1968) Nature 220:373–374

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Inglett GE, Dowling B, Albrecht JJ, Hoglan FA (1965) J Agric Food Chem 13:284–287

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Kurihara K, Beidler LM (1968) Science 161:1241–1243

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Gibbs BF, Alli I, Mulligan C (1996) Nutr Res 16:1619–1630

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Kinghorn AD, Fullas F, Hussain RA (1995) In: Atta-ur-Rahman (ed) Studies in natural products chemistry, vol 15. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 3–41

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Masuda T, Kitabatake N (2006) J Biosci Bioeng 102:375–389

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Dudler R, Mauch F, Reimmann C (1994) In: Witty M, Higginbotham JD (eds) Thaumatin. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 193–199

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Higginbotham JD, Snodin DJ, Eaton KK, Daniel JW (1983) Food Chem Toxicol 21:815–823

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Kinghorn AD, Compadre CM (2001) In: Nabors LOB (ed) Alternative sweetners, 3rd edn. Dekker, New York, pp 209–234

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Kant R (2005) Nutr J 4:5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Embuscado ME (2006) In: Spillane WJ (ed) Optimising sweet taste in foods. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 153–174

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Cooper TJM (2006) In: Spillane WJ (ed) Optimising sweet taste in foods. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 135–145

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Grenby TH (1991) Chem Br 27:342–345

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Duffy VB, Anderson GH (1998) J Am Diet Assoc 98:580–587

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Kinghorn AD, Wu CD, Soejarto DD (2001) In: Nabors LOB (ed) Alternative sweeteners, 3rd edn. Dekker, New York, pp 167–183

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Von Rymon Lipinski GW (2006) In: Spillane WJ (ed) Optimizing sweet taste in foods. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 252–280

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Edgar WM (1982) In: Birch GG, Parker KJ (eds) Nutritive sweeteners. Applied Science, London, pp 205–224

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Kinghorn AD, Soejarto DD (2002) Pure Appl Chem 75:1169–1179

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Nuttall FQ, Gannon MC (1981) Diabetes Care 4:305–310

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Gardner R (2011) Last bite: meet monk fruit. http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/article/last-bite-meet-monk-fruit-2-7757. Accessed 8 Oct 2012

  27. 27.

    Geuns JMC (2003) Phytochemistry 64:913–921

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (2010) Compendium on food additive specifications. Monograph 5. Steviol glycosides. http://fao.org/ag/agn/jecfa-additives/specs/monograph5/additive-442-m5.pdf. Accessed 5 May 2012

  29. 29.

    Kinghorn AD (2002) Kinghorn AD (ed) Stevia, the genus Stevia. Medicinal and aromatic plants - industrial profiles, vol 19. Taylor and Francis, London, pp 1–17

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Hellfritsch C, Brockhoff A, Stahler F, Meyerhof W, Hofmann T (2012) J Agric Food Chem 60:6782–6793

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Kinghorn AD, Soejarto DD (1989) Med Res Rev 9:91–115

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Pezzuto JM, Compadre CM, Swanson SM, Nanayakkara D, Kinghorn AD (1985) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 82:2478–2482

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Brusick DJ (2008) Food Chem Toxicol 46(Suppl 7):S83–91

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (2010) EFSA J 8:1537

    Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Lemus-Mondaca R, Vega-Gálvez A, Zura-Bravo L, Ah-Hen K (2012) Food Chem 132:1121–1132

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Wölwer-Rieck U (2012) J Agric Food Chem 60:886–895

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Huxtable RJ (2002) In: Kinghorn AD (ed) Stevia, the genus Stevia. Medicinal and aromatic plants - industrial profiles, vol 19. Taylor and Francis, London, pp 160–177

    Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Kolb N, Herrera JL, Ferreyra DJ, Uliana RF (2001) J Agric Food Chem 49:4538–4541

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Koyama E, Kitazawa K, Ohori Y, Izawa O, Kakegawa K, Fujino A, Ui M (2003) Food Chem Toxicol 41:359–374

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Zimmerman BF, Woelwer-Rieck U, Papagiannopoulos M (2012) Food Anal Methods 5:266–271

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Gardana C, Scaglianti M, Simonetti P (2010) J Chromatogr A 1217:1463–1470

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Jaworska K, Krynitsky AJ, Rader JI (2012) J AOAC Int 95:1588–1596. doi:10.5740/jaoacint.11-435

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Wölwer-Rieck U, Lankes C, Wawrzun A, Wüst M (2010) Eur Food Res Technol 231:581–588

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Zimmerman BF (2011) Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom 25:1575–1582

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Pόl J, Hohnová B, Hyötyläinen T (2007) J Chromatogr A 1150:85–92

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Cacciola F, Delmonte P, Jaworska K, Dugo P, Mondello L, Rader JI (2011) J Chromatogr A 1218:2012–2018

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    Pieri V, Belancic A, Morales S, Stuppner H (2011) J Agric Food Chem 59:4378–4384

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (2010) Compendium of food additive specifications. Monograph 10. Steviol glycosides. http://www.fao.org/ag/agn/jecfa-additives/specs/monograph10/additive-442-m10.pdf. Accessed 13 Oct 2012

  49. 49.

    Zhang JI, Li X, Ouyang Z, Cooks RG (2012) Analyst 137:3091–3098

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Shafii B, Vismeh R, Beaudry R, Warner R, Jones AD (2012) Anal Bioanal Chem 403:2683–2690

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    Shah R, De Jager LS, Begley TH (2012) Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 29:1861–1871

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    Rulis AM, Levitt JA (2009) Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 53:20–31

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    US Food and Drug Administration (2012) http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/GenerallyRecognizedasSafeGRAS/default.htm. Accessed 8 Oct 2012

  54. 54.

    US Food and Drug Administration (2012) http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm214865.htm. Accessed 27 Sep 2012

  55. 55.

    McQuate RS (2011) Ensuring the safety of sweeteners from Stevia. http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2011/april/features/ensuring-the-safety-of-sweeteners-from-stevia.aspx?page=viewall. Accessed 8 Oct 2012

  56. 56.

    Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (2009) WHO food additive series, 60. Safety evaluation of certain food additives. Steviol glycosides (addendum)

  57. 57.

    Scientific Committee on Food (1999) Opinion on stevioside as a sweetner (adopted 17/6/99). http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scf/out34_en.pdf

  58. 58.

    Makapugay HC, Nanayakkara NPD, Soejarto DD, Kinghorn AD (1985) J Agric Food Chem 33:348–350

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  59. 59.

    Kinghorn AD, Soejarto DD (1986) CRC Crit Rev Plant Sci 4:79–120

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  60. 60.

    Lee CH (1975) Experientia 31:533–534

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Matsumoto K, Kasai R, Ohtani K, Tanaka O (1990) Chem Pharm Bull 38:2030–2032

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  62. 62.

    Lim TK (2012) In: Lim TK (ed) Edible medicinal and non-medicinal plants. Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York, pp 392–400

  63. 63.

    Xia Y, Rivero-Hughet ME, Hughes BH, Marshall WD (2008) Food Chem 107:1022–1028

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    Zhang H, Yang H, Zhang M, Wang Y, Wang J, Yau L, Jiang Z, Hu P (2012) J Food Compos Anal 25:142–148

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    Li D, Ikeda T, Huang Y, Liu J, Nohara T, Sakamoto T, Nonaka GI (2007) J Nat Med 61:307–312

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    Sun BS, Chen YP, Wang YB, Tang SW, Pan FY, Li Z, Sung CK (2012) Afr J Pharm Pharmacol 6:1492–1501

    Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    Liu C, Liu J, Rong Y, Rong L (2011) Afr J Pharm Pharmacol 10:7021–7025

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    Lu F, Li D, Fu C, Liu J, Huang Y, Chen Y, Wen Y, Nohara T (2012) J Nat Med 66:70–76

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  69. 69.

    Tang Q, Ma X, Mo C, Wilson IW, Song C, Zhao H, Yang Y, Fu W, Qiu D (2011) BMC Genomics 12:343–356

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  70. 70.

    Ansorge WJ (2009) Nat Biotechnol 25:195–203

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  71. 71.

    Schuster SC (2008) Nat Methods 5:16–18

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  72. 72.

    US Food and Drug Administration (2009) http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/gras_notices/grn000301.pdf. Accessed 11 Oct 2012

  73. 73.

    US Food and Drug Administration (2010) http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/gras_notices/grn359.pdf. Accessed 10 Oct 2012

  74. 74.

    US Food and Drug Administration (2011) http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/GenerallyRecognizedasSafeGRAS/GRASListings/ucm253511.htm. Accessed 6 Dec 2012

  75. 75.

    Chaturvedula VSP, Prakash I (2011) J Pharm Res 4:3166–3167

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  76. 76.

    CCFA. 2011, Xiamen, China, 14–18 March, 2011, Proposals for additions and changes to the priority list of food additives proposed for evaluation by JECFA (replies to CL 2010/10FA). Codex Alimentarius Commission E, FAO/WHO/JEFCA CX/FA 11/43/18 Add.1, March 2011. Codex Alimentarius Commission, Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, Codex Committee on Food Additives, 43rd session, Xiamen, China, 14–18 March 2011. Proposals for additions and changes to the priority list of food additives proposed for evaluation by JECFA (replies to CL 2010/10-FA). Report of the In-Session Working Group on priorities for evaluation by JEFCA, 13 March 2012

  77. 77.

    Codex Alimentarius Commission, Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, Codex Committee on Food Additives. Report of the In-Session Working Group on priorities for evaluation by JEFCA, 13 March 2012

  78. 78.

    Almendarez S (2012) Sweet without the harm: replacing sugar with healthier, natural sweetener options. Natural Products Insider August

  79. 79.

    Feder D (2012) How sweet it is. Prepared Foods August

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Aruna Weerasooriya of the University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS, USA) for providing the photograph of Stevia and Subhuti Dharmananda of the Institute for Traditional Medicine and Preventive Health Care (Portland, OR, USA) for the photograph of luo han guo.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rahul S. Pawar.

Additional information

Published in the topical collection Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements with guest editors Melissa M. Phillips and Catherine A. Rimmer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pawar, R.S., Krynitsky, A.J. & Rader, J.I. Sweeteners from plants—with emphasis on Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) and Siraitia grosvenorii (Swingle). Anal Bioanal Chem 405, 4397–4407 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-012-6693-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Natural sweeteners
  • Stevia rebaudiana
  • Steviol glycosides
  • Siraitia grosvenorii
  • Mogrosides
  • Dietary supplements
  • Generally recognized as safe status