Miracle Fruit

Synsepalum dulcificum 091109-0970

Unlike beans, the musical fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum is the “Miracle Fruit”. It alters the way foods taste to seriously jack up the sweetness! I was asked about it recently, and sadly haven’t tried it yet. Although I can’t talk with authority yet, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The Miracle Fruit Plant, sometimes known as Miracle Berry, Magic Berry, Flavor Berry (Sideroxylon dulcificum/Synsepalum dulcificum) is a plant first documented by an explorer during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. The plant grows in bushes up to 20-feet high in its native habitat, but does not usually grow higher than ten feet in cultivation, and it produces two crops per year, after the end of the rainy season. It is an evergreen plant that produces small red berries, with flowers that are white and which are produced for many months of the year. The seeds are about the size of coffee beans.

The berry is sweet, and contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue’s taste buds, causing bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet. This effect lasts between thirty minutes and two hours. It is not a sweetener, as its effects depend on what is eaten afterwards, but has been used to cause bitter medicine to taste sweet.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
This entry was posted in Biogeekery and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.