Miracle Fruit Coming to South Florida - Part 1
Scientists at University of Florida’s Tropical Research and Education Center have unlocked the mystery behind a highly sought-after berry known as the miracle fruit. Dr. Alan Chambers is one of those scientists, and he explains where the name comes from.
Chambers… “So miracle fruit is actually native to Western Africa: Ghana, Benin, Nigeria. It's been used there for over a hundred years to improve the palatability of some of their foods. The miracle fruit itself produces a protein called miraculin, that basically hijacks your sweet tastebud receptors on your tongue. Such that it stimulates your sweet receptor in response to an acid instead of a sugar. So things like lemons or strawberries or raspberries, the acid that's naturally in those foods, it's extremely sweet as you perceive them on your tongue.”
So you’d consume the miracle fruit before eating other acidic foods to make them sweet.
Chambers… “Basically you take the fruit juice itself, you put the berry in your mouth. It has a large seed, which you don't eat. But the juice from the berry, you let that coat your tongue. And then that allows that miraculin protein to stick to your tongue. And then for about 30 minutes, or maybe up to two hours, you'll have this effect of anything you eat that's acidic is going to taste very, very sweet.”
Tune in tomorrow for what it will take to start producing the fruit commercially in South Florida.