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The pinetree riddle

  1. Jul 15, 2008 #1

    Monique

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    I read a remarkable article in the newspaper a few days ago, I was wondering if anyone has ever experienced such a thing? It is at least something to pay attention to.

    Link: http://www.nrc.nl/achtergrond/article1157911.ece/Het_pijnboomraadsel

    Apparently quite a few people experience an alteration in their perception of taste, two days after eating pine tree seeds. All of a sudden everything what they eat will taste bitter, especially wine, tea and coffee become undrinkable. After five days the bitter tastes disappear and the perception is normalized.

    The delayed effect has been hard to explain, there is a fruit known that can change taste perception: the Synsepalum dulcificum. It makes sour food taste sweet, but the effect only lasts a couple of hours.
     
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  3. Jul 15, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    Is there an English version? :tongue:

    I've never noticed any effect of eating pine nuts on taste of other things, and I ate a lot of them for a while (bought a big package and added them to everything). I'd definitely remember if my coffee didn't taste good anymore.
     
  4. Jul 15, 2008 #3

    Monique

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    Why, it's just Dutch :biggrin:

    Sorry, the online website translators are terrible so won't be of any use. The article basically describes what I summarized. There might be a chemical in the pine tree nuts that changes the sensitivity of your bitter-sensing taste buds. They have no clue where it comes from, there doesn't seem a specific source.

    haha, Yeah, I haven't noticed the effect either.
     
  5. Jul 15, 2008 #4
    Well that makes 3 of us who haven't noticed the effects of altered taste after eating pine nuts {seeds}. Maybe its a different species, the pine nuts we eat here come from the Pinon pine{Pinus edulis}.
     
  6. Jul 15, 2008 #5

    turbo

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    Make that four of us, hypatia. I have had pretty generous helpings of pine nuts with salads and in trail mixes, and my coffee always tastes fine.
     
  7. Jul 15, 2008 #6

    Borek

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    Perhaps that's effect of eating nuts of Pinus nonedulis?
     
  8. Jul 15, 2008 #7

    turbo

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    Known in the central states of the US as the notapinenut... :rolleyes:
     
  9. Jul 15, 2008 #8
  10. Jul 18, 2008 #9

    Mk

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    Here's something I remembered that is related to the main topic of this thread. This is a New York Times article on a west African fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, that drastically alters the sense of taste of other foods for several hours.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/28/dining/28flavor.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Chemicals in the fruit are said to bind to the bitter and sour receptors on the tongue, blocking or modifying what is sensed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_fruit

    This plant is thinking out of the box! It is a completely different response to create an incentive for animals to eat fruit, from "be tasty," to "make everything else tasty."
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  11. Jul 19, 2008 #10

    Monique

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    Yes, I mentioned it in my first post. I've heard the rumor that the US food industry wanted to use it as an ingredient, but that it got banned.

    Indeed, in the article it says: "During the 1970s, a ruling by the Food and Drug Administration dashed hopes that an extract of miraculin could be sold as a sugar substitute. In the absence of any plausible commercial application, the miracle fruit has acquired a bit of a cult following".
     
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