Rating: Caution

Natural high-potency sweetener
Monatin is not yet used as a food additive, but Cargill, PepsiCo, and other companies see that as a possibility in the future. Like stevia-derived rebiana, monatin was first identified in a plant—in this case the root bark of a shrub that grows in South Africa, where the plant has been consumed by people. The substance, which can be synthesized more efficiently in a factory, is about 3,000 times sweeter than sugar and supposedly does not have the unpleasant aftertaste that most current stevia extracts have. Monatin has undergone only rudimentary safety testing.