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September 5th, 2008

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08:45 pm - Miracle fruit
Have you heard of miracle fruit?
The Miracle Fruit plant (Synsepalum dulcificum) produces berries that, when eaten, cause bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed later to taste sweet... Miracle fruit is available as freeze dried granules or in tablets - this form has a longer shelf life than fresh fruit. Tablets are made from compressed freeze dried fruit which causes the texture to be clearly visible even in tablet form. The effect of Miracle fruit is made possible by contact with the tongue, not through digestion. For this reason, tablets must be allowed to dissolve in the mouth.

My son just gave me a miracle fruit tablet which I dissolved in my mouth, and I am now chewing a slice of raw lemon and it tastes like lemon sugar, or a lemon sweet. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. It's almost so sweet that I don't like it. 'Miraculin' temporarily bonds to the sweet receptors of the tongue, so they react to sour and bitter flavours as if they are sweet. The acidity of the lemon is slightly irritating my throat, but I am quite unaware of any sour taste.

The berry contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin... this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds... This effect lasts between thirty minutes and two hours.

Personally, I don't like super-sweet flavour too much, so I probably won't do it again, but it's a strange almost hallucinogenic experience. It is used medically to help people with diabetes and undergoing chemo.

(11 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 6th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
Ooh, fascinating! I might buy some and try it out, although I don't like all sweet flavours. As you said, some are just too sweet. What sort of things do they recommend trying besides lemons (which might be a bit acid?

I see some people have tasting parties with the stuff. :-P
[User Picture]
Date:September 6th, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)
I can imagine it would be great for people who really really like a sweet taste. I think a lot of people drink Guinness, but we didn't have any in. I tried some lager and it tasted a bit like Coca-Cola - terribly sugary.
[User Picture]
Date:September 6th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
I can't stand the flavour of Coke. Hmm. I like some sweet things like chocolate that have some bite behind the sweet, but if it just makes things tastes sugary, I'm not sure. Maybe I'll give it a try but I'll have to think what I could try it on.
[User Picture]
Date:September 6th, 2008 10:27 am (UTC)
It only lasts an hour or so. I didn't like it all that much but it was interesting

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