Magic Fruit Turns Sour to Sweet
May 29, 2008 2:25 PM Subscribe
Would you ever mix lemon sorbet into a glass of Guinness?
posted by davinciuno (63 comments total)
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With the help of a small red berry called miracle fruit, that's just what one woman did
at a rooftop party in Long Island City, Queens, last Friday night. The berry rewires the way the palate perceives sour flavors for an hour or so, rendering lemons as sweet as candy.
The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, according to a scientist who has studied the fruit, Linda Bartoshuk at the University of Florida’s Center for Smell and Taste
. Dr. Bartoshuk said she did not know of any dangers associated with eating miracle fruit.
An extract from the fruit might also help people lose weight:
it could be used to manufacture sweet-tasting foods without sugar or sweeteners. But one man's efforts to grow and market the berry were thwarted back in the 1970s. Did the sugar industry see the miracle berry as a threat?