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Miracle Fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum

  1. Nov 6, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/28/dining/28flavor.html

    I got some tablets made from this berry to test the claim. They worked! Unfortunately I was fresh out of tobasco, so I have yet to try that one.

    I gave some to Tsu to try without telling her what to expect. She thought it was cool, but for the rest of the evening she was complaining that her lemonade was too sweet. :rofl: [she happens to be on a lemonade kick right now]

    Researchers are working to incorporate the gene responsible for the production of the critical chemical, into healthy but sour foods that are typically unpopular with kids and adults. As you might imagine, the food industry is looking to go nuts with this stuff. This opens the door to an entire world of new possibilities for flavor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
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  3. Nov 6, 2009 #2

    Monique

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  4. Nov 6, 2009 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    My understanding is that it was rejected [not approved] by the FDA at some point, but it is all the rage in Japan. I don't know the history of this, but apparently it is quite the subject of interest these days. Perhaps FDA approval is expected?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  5. Nov 6, 2009 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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  6. Nov 6, 2009 #5
    yeah it was super interesting at first, but it's not something you want to do over and over again. mostly do to the fact that the sweetness tastes like an artificial sweetener. so plain yogurt kinda tasted like pudding with a weird aftertaste and it kinda makes your mouth feel funny, coated in a way.
     
  7. Nov 6, 2009 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I took a shot of straight lemon juice, which tasted sweet but strange... tried straight vinegar as well with much the same effect.

    Later I had a bowl of cold cereal with no sugar. That tasted sweet with no distinctive aftertaste.
     
  8. Nov 6, 2009 #7

    Evo

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    Does it change the acidity, or just how the taste is perceived? With my esophagus, I don't think I should try anything like that.
     
  9. Nov 6, 2009 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    My understanding is that the active chemical acts on the taste receptors in such a way that sweet is perceived instead of sour, when acids are consumed. I haven't looked into this beyond the original news story seen.

    Allegedly, "taste tripping" parties are quite popular.
     
  10. Nov 6, 2009 #9

    Moonbear

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    Is the response repeatable for different people? I mean, if you and Tsu both tried it and then tried the same foods, do you both perceive them to have the same "other" taste? Or does it just change the taste, but in individual ways?

    It's obviously doing something, but it wouldn't be much good in foods if everyone tasted something different. Plus, I'd be concerned that while it might make that broccoli taste good, what if it then made everything else in the meal taste bad?

    Is the mechanism of action known? I sure wouldn't want FDA to approve a food additive without knowing how it's working, whether it's safe to consume often and over long periods of time, and what side effects there are besides making food taste strange.

    I wouldn't want it in my food, but I would be interested in learning its mechanism of action as a tool toward better understand how taste is perceived. Not just what flavor do we think we taste, but what makes us think one flavor is pleasant and another disgusting, especially when it is not universal?
     
  11. Nov 6, 2009 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    As near as I could tell, we both perceived the lemon juice in the same way. It tasted sweet but strange. Beyond that, Tsu didn't experiment any more.

    It seems that the effect, in a subtle form, is active for several hours. Tsu was still complaining about her sweet lemonade an hour or two later, and I ate the cereal about two hours after taking a tablet.

    It made the flavor of coffee stronger. The taste was slightly altered, but not sweet.
     
  12. Nov 6, 2009 #11

    Monique

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    I would think that the mechanism of action would be similar to capsicum, but I'm not sure.
     
  13. Nov 6, 2009 #12

    Evo

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  14. Nov 6, 2009 #13

    turbo

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    Personal experience only, but to me eating steamed asparagus can alter the tastes of other foods. I love asparagus and I love very sharp Vermont/NY cheddars, but whenever I make a sharp cheese sauce to serve over asparagus, it seems that the asparagus cuts the distinctive sharp character of the cheese. Anybody else experience this?
     
  15. Nov 6, 2009 #14

    Evo

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    It can certainly change the smell of your urine, so you may be on to something.
     
  16. Nov 8, 2009 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Chemical reactions between foods, that change the flavor of those foods, are common. This chemical changes the perception of flavor.
     
  17. Nov 8, 2009 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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  18. Nov 8, 2009 #17
    Ah if this is the berry I'm thinking about it is pretty insane. My girlfriend is from Ghana and thats where the berry is from.

    They used it there to make foods that were stale taste good. Like old bread etc. She's going to be getting some family to send some over here for me to test out :D
     
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