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Natural Sweetener From “Miracle Berry” Needs Work Before It Supplants Sugar In Foods

May 29, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Though its use as a healthful sweetener in everyday cooking and baking is probably far off in the future, a naturally occurring taste-modifying protein known as “miraculin”, found in the berries of the Synsepalum dulcificum plant, is getting a lot of attention these days. The so-called “miracle fruit” from West Africa provides a “sweet fix” before eating a sugar-free dessert, for example. It is being tested at high-end restaurants around the world, where it turns sour flavors to sweet without the obesity-inducing effects of sugar. But before the full potential of the berry can be realized, some technical problems need to be resolved. Refrigerating and heating miraculin cause the protein to activate long before food can be sampled.
David Cox, "The 'Miracle' Berry That Could Replace Sugar", The Atlantic, May 29, 2014, © The Atlantic Monthly Group
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