Also known as monk fruit and luo han kuo. Sold as Nectresse®.
Luo han guo is the fruit of a vine, Siraitia grosvenorii, that grows in southern China and Thailand. The fruit produces sweet triterpene glycosides called mogrosides.
The mogrosides are sweet, with potency up to 300 times sucrose, on a weight basis. As with many of the sweet terpene glycosides, the sweetness is slow in onset, and lingers, with a slight licorice-like cooling effect.
Mogrosides are non-caloric. Some luo han guo extracts may contain sugars in addition to the mogrosides, which would provide calories and likely improve the overall taste.
Mogrosides appear to have good heat stability.
Lo han guo fruit has been used for centuries by people who live in the area where the fruit grows. It has GRAS status in the United States.
Several companies are commercializing luo han guo derived sweeteners in the United States. Nectresse® is sold in packets containing luo han guo extract, erythritol, sucrose, and molasses. The packet must have less than 5 calories in order to claim "no calorie" on the label.