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  1. Dear ALL, For the past few months I have been experimenting, using a natural sweetener, A juice from a small melon that grows in SouthWest China and neighboring Thailand. The technical name of the fruit is Luo Han, usually known as "Monk Fruit". This is because the juice of this small melon has been used in traditional Chinese medicine by Chinese monks for a long time. The juice is over 100 times as sweet as sugar -- is delicious (my opinion) and essentially calorie free. I use it to sweeten my morning tea -- it is MUCH better tasting than neotame or sucralose, which I used to use. Unfortunately, the Chinese government has full control of the world supply of this commodity -- since China's takeover of Thailand. China forbids exportation of the fruit; this helps them keep up prices, and profits from its sale. However it happens, pure monk fruit juice is available for purchase at Amazon Prime, at a reasonable price. As with all low calorie sweeteners, there are many merchants on Amazon who will sell you the stuff mixed with sugar alcohols -- but I have found two suppliers who supply the unadulterated fruit juice. Both suppliers supply it as a powder -- presumably, this powder consists of part of the fruit, containing the molecules that are sweet in the juice -- and some other stuff from the fruit. I find it excellent and very affordable. -- Saul
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