the Miracle FruitDiscovered in the backlog of foodie podcasts I’ve been going through: one of the generically labeled NPR:Food segments detailing the curious African Miracle Fruit and the lost plans to introduce it in popsicles to Americans in the 1970′s.

The juice of this berry binds to the sweet taste bud receptors on your tongue and primes them to respond to bitter or sour items. Only when the protein of this fruit: Miraculin is bound to a bitter substance will it activate the sweet taste bud receptors on your tongue.

A couple hours after coating one’s tongue with the Miracle Fruit juice causes bitter sour items like lemons and vinegar to taste pleasantly sweet when ingested.

In the 1970′s Robert Harvey and Don Emery were developing bitter flavored sugar-free popsicles that have an outer coating of the synthesized miraculin. However, the FDA squashed these miracle popsicles by never approving miraculin for consumption in the United States. Japanese developers have utilized freeze drying to import the fragile berries of Miracle Fruit. In a specialty Tokyo restaurant, these berries are paired with low calorie bitter desserts that turn charmingly sweet only when paired with the Miracle berry.

The Miracle Fruit plants can be imported and grown in the United States for personal harvest of the berries. While heat and extreme pH diminishes the sugar bitter transforming properties of the berry, freezing of the berries does not affect the miracle properties.

A wonderful story of the fruit as trickster may explain some of the mythical appeal of Key Limes as a supposedly sweeter lime. Visitors to the garden are given samples of the nondescript Miracle Fruit which on its own doesn’t have much charm. The garden visitors are next led to a lime tree and given a sample of lime that wows the guests, much to the amusement of their garden hosts.

This has me motivated to find some Miracle Fruit of my own, and to dig out my bag of frozen key limes to see if they just might be the Emperor’s New Clothes of citrus.

Miracle Fruit Information Sources

16 Comments

posted July 6th, 2007 at 4:37 pm

This is the oddest thing I have heard about it a long time…The possibilities are endless! Please let us know who your foray into this goes!

posted July 7th, 2007 at 8:17 pm

This is fascinating stuff. I want to hear more…though honestly I’d probably be disappointed by the results, since I am very sensitive to “off” flavors. (Technically I am a borderline supertaster, but it’s not a Super Power thing. It’s a pain in the ass.)

Anyway. INTERESTING STUFF!!

- Tana
posted July 8th, 2007 at 7:57 am

I wasn’t disappointed, and I was expecting it not to work as claimed.

I’m not crazy about eating fruit, especially on it’s own, because of the tartness/bitterness etc. My first experiment was with strawberries. At first when I bit into one it seemed like it wasn’t going to do much. Then I guess it hit the right spot, and boy what a difference. It actually tasted like strawberries dipped in sugar, or even strawberry yogurt.

The same for lemon juice(didn’t have any lemons on hand)- the stuff in the lemon looking bottle. Tasted like lemonade.

I’ve also tried it with pineapple and purple plums. I’m actually eating fruit again. So if this works on anyone who usually doesn’t eat or care for fruit(kids?)..that’d be great.

I took the “Miracle Fruit”- placed on the tongue and left to dissolve for a few minutes- before trying these things out.

There is a company in Japan that sells it in tablet form(to dissolve on your tongue). I got mine from the company here in the USA(that seems to be out of stock at the moment) that imports it and makes it available. I’m told they too are working on a tablet form, and possibly others. I guess the problem is keeping the stuff shelf-stable. The powder I have has to be keep refrigerated.

Thanks for the feedback Jonathan. Interesting point on it nudging those who don’t eat fruit normally.

–McAuliflower

- Jonathan
posted July 9th, 2007 at 4:22 am

Wow, I’ve never heard of this before. I’m not a big fruit or vegetable eater so I may have to give this a try. Thanks.

posted July 10th, 2007 at 9:09 am

From replate to miracle fruit, I enjoy reading about all the interesting food finds and fads you discover, and this one is surely unique! I just wrote an article on Recipe4Living.com about the acai (a-sigh-ee) berries that are nicknamed the perfect superfruit and I thought this was going to be about those, but I was wrong!

When I was searching for more info on the Miracle Berries, I kept on running into blueberry articles, aka the other miracle berry!

–McAuliflower

posted July 27th, 2007 at 4:22 pm

Holy crap! That’s amazing! I want one! It would be strange to have this change your perception of familiar foods so much. Maybe you start snacking on limes, and then one day forget the miracle berry, and bite into one. What would Pavlov do?

And would it mask flavors that tell you that food is off? I wouldn’t think so, but of course I think of why our taste buds are attuned to the flavors that they are in the evolutionary view. Bitter compounds that are anti-cancer, i.e. anti-fast-dividing-cells, that kids don’t like because they are anti-fast-dividing-cells. (My simplistic and probably unsupported theory.)

posted August 24th, 2007 at 9:57 am

Hey if anyone wants info on how to obtain fresh miracle fruit please give me an email! suttoncohen@gmail.com

I have access to plants as well!

God Bless.

Excellent!

–McAuliflower

- Adam
posted May 15th, 2008 at 8:01 am

For those interested in purchasing miracle fruit, I sell fresh miracle fruit shipped from Florida. The price is $1.50 per fruit plus actual overnight shipping of $19.50. You can email at miracle at ethanbradley.com for more info or to order. Have a great day.

- Ethan
posted June 19th, 2008 at 6:47 am

Hi, we are now manfacturing the Miracle berry tablets and supply the fresh fruit, if you want to try them or buy wholesale visit http://www.good-diets.com for prices.

- Mel
posted June 22nd, 2008 at 10:00 am

god, were getting miracle berry spam now in the same way we get viagra and poker spam, get lots spammers, if you want to buy miracle berry pills then just doa google for miracle berry pills or miracle berry tablets

- s pammers
posted November 9th, 2008 at 8:13 am

Where did you buy this “miracle fruit”

- Angela
posted November 16th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

fantastic plant…people dont actually realise but theres many other uses for his plant aswell as being an organic sweetener, i know people who use it because they take bitter medicine on a regular basis or because they want to lighten a hangover.

I just got myself a plant from http://www.miraclefruithut.com for the people asking the where abouts of where you can get this amazing plant from.

I recommend the experience even if only once!

- Andy Barry
posted May 17th, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Its really a miracle fruit isn’t it? I just wonder when this fruit can replace our sugar need. If it can be done, then it will be good for our health.

posted May 31st, 2009 at 6:38 am

I have tried the miracle fruit.

I was amazing.

Perfecrt for diabetes and diets.

Check out the website
http://www.theworldsbestfruit.com

- CUL8R
posted July 5th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Infact Buah Ajaib there was a guy who worked out how to fuse the miracle fruit ingredient Miraculin into commercial food and drink products. He was infact shut down and scared away from doing his work many claim this to be a conspiracy regarding stopping this product reaching the open market for us Westerners. In Japan they have been using it for over 3-4 years in commercial food and drink products more information is available here :

http://www.miraclefruithut.com/about.html

Informative Videos at the bottom.

posted May 31st, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I recommend making a limon grapfruit smoothy, the perfect miracle fruit drink

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