How Do Miracle Berries Work? What does miracle berry taste like? The surprising thing about eating this fruit is that it tastes really good. It’s a tangy berry that tastes like a sweetened cranberry. Miracle berry or Synsepalum dulcificum is a plant native to West Africa. Miracle Fruit has a glycoprotein called miraculin, which binds to the tongue’s taste buds after its consumption.
Miraculin acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, causing sour foods to taste sweet, temporarily. Once in the mouth, it stays on the taste buds for about an hour. During that hour, miraculin affects the taste of any food the person eats.
The change is more obvious with sour or acidic foods. They interact with the protein, confusing the taste buds. This causes the brain to think that normally sour foods are very sweet.
For a while during the 1970’s, miraculin seemed ready to replace sugar in many American foods. Even better, a man named Robert Harvey believed miracle berries could improve many people’s health. He started a company called Miralin.
His goal was to make and sell a line of sugar-free foods made with miraculin. Harvey believed his products would help reduce obesity. They would also be safe for people with diabetes, for whom sugary sweets are dangerous. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t approve miracle berries as food additives.
A popular conspiracy theory claims that this was the work of the sugar and artificial sweetener industry. It says they paid FDA employees to stop Miralin in its tracks. Both parties deny this claim. Still, many, including Robert Harvey, believe it to be true.
Today, people can buy miracle berries in some restaurants and cafes. However, they are still not legal to use as food additives. Until that’s changed, the protein miraculin will not be a legal sugar substitute. Above all we do know now how do miracle berries work.
Is the miracle berry safe? Although miracle fruit is generally considered safe when consumed occasionally as a food, the safety of long-term use of miracle fruit supplements is unknown. It’s important to keep in mind that supplements haven’t been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated.
Content for this question contributed by Mike Bell, resident of Austin, Texas, Massachusetts, USA