Nowadays everything novel is treated like a revolution. Newer phones replace new phones, which replace still perfectly good ones. Time and again the same is seen in the food and nutrition world. This year the trend at Product Expo West (a massive west-coast product show) was chia seeds. Despite planting them ever so carefully on our ceramic hedgehogs as kids, they’ve been reimagined, repackaged, and resold to us as a health food. Celebrity “nutrition experts” like Dr Oz drive this revolving door ever faster as they struggle for ratings. Everything new is old again. One area this trend is particularly rampant is low or no calorie sweeteners. The newest contender of which is an extract of Monk Fruit and is being marketed under the name Nectresse. Although the extract itself is free of calories, it must not have tasted very good because the packets still have added sugar. We are literally to the point of adding sweetness to our sweeteners. The product is being marketed as a “natural” alternative to splenda but is more likely competing with stevia exact. The reviews of the product are mixed. Many report the product tastes similar to a fruity table sugar. Others detest its unpleasant aftertaste.
Heard this all before?
Sounds just like every other low or no-cal sweetener out there.
I decided to cut straight through the marketing b.s. and try it myself.
As far as practical use, it works better in cold beverages. When it heats up, in say a cup of coffee, it imparts a bitterness that even masks that of black coffee. I don’t bake often but it seemed to do fine in a batch of banana bread, though I only substituted part of the sucrose… And that’s really all that can be said.
Is it going to change your cooking, baking, or morning coffee? No. Could it be used in place of stevia? For sure. Is it worth the price? Probably not.
Two products as similar as Stevia and Nectresse really have no competitive edge aside from price. In this case, Stevia has been around longer, has more safety studies, and is just a hair cheaper, but that’s all that matters. Why pay more for “new” when you can buy something tried and tested at a lower cost?
Don’t fall for the sensational nutrition celebrities. 95% of these “revolutionary” products are just old things reimagined, repackaged, and resold.
You get the point. Be good to each other.