Sunday, January 4, 2009

Miracle Berry (Synsepalum dulcificum)

Featured in an episode of CSI:NY (12/18/2008), this is a fascinating West African berry. Its juice contains a protein, miraculin, that alters the way many things taste - especially tart, bitter, and sour foods. Several web articles (some links provided below) have documented the effects (makes lemons taste like lemonade, while the taste of peanuts remains unchanged).

It's easy to see why people get sick at miracle berry tasting parties. You could get sick just reading about the things people put in their mouths (and assumably swallow) for the sake of [pop] science!

We'd like to know if there is a practical purpose for these berries. For example, can it help the sugar-challenged who crave sweets (diabetics, hypoglycemics, obese)?

For more information:

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