Known to medical science since at least 1968, these red berries,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synsepalum_dulcificum, are known for their ability to bind with the tongue and convince the brain that sour tastes are sweet.
The berries have been blocked from wide production, but that may be changing. Although the berries don’t have strong enough support to offset the sugar lobby, the protein that sweetens, “miraculin,” will soon be added to our genetically modified tomatoes.
As for safety profiling, there is none. No toxicity studies, no long-term studies of any kind. Mmmm… gene spliced tomatoes full of taste modifying proteins of uncertain safety. Sign me up!
J Agric Food Chem. 2010 May 26;58(10):6096-101.
Production of recombinant miraculin using transgenic tomatoes in a
closed cultivation system.
Hirai T, Fukukawa G, Kakuta H, Fukuda N, Ezura H.
We constructed a cultivation system with a controlled light period,
light intensity, temperature, and CO(2) concentration for mass production of
the taste-modifying protein miraculin from transgenic tomatoes. The tomato plants
exhibited normal growth and produced over 270 g of fresh weight (FW) fruit per
plant, with the recombinant miraculin concentration reaching up to 90 microg
per g FW of tomatoes. The recombinant miraculin content of transgenic tomatoes
was compared to that of plants grown in a netted greenhouse. The recombinant
miraculin content of transgenic tomatoes grown in a closed cultivation system
was more stable than that of tomatoes grown in a netted greenhouse, suggesting
that the closed cultivation system is suitable for the production of
recombinant miraculin. We estimate that 45 tFW of tomatoes and 4 kg of
recombinant miraculin per 1,000 m(2) of cultivation area can be harvested per
- Miracle Berry’s Sour-Sweet Mystery Cracked (wired.com)
- Why does eating a spoonful of this powder turn sourness to sweetness? [Food Science] (io9.com)
- How Sour Tastes Sweet: Science of ‘Flavor-Tripping’ Fruit Revealed (livescience.com)
- Making Sour Taste Sweet: Behold the Miracle Berry (healthland.time.com)
- A Gear Diary Taste Test Fest: mBerrys, the Miracle Fruit That Changes the Way You Experience Food! (geardiary.com)
- Miracle fruit study reveals secret of flavor-shifting berry (cbsnews.com)
- Miracle fruit surrenders its secret (blogs.nature.com)
- Miracle Fruit’s Flavor Tripping Powers Explained (inquisitr.com)
- A Miracle Fruit Party and Its Attendant Trend Story (theawl.com)