7. Miracle Fruit
The small, red colored miracle fruit grows in the tropical forests of West Africa. In the medical field, doctors utilize the sweetening effect of miracle fruit to bring back the appetite of cancer patients.
This single-seeded, exotic is fruit also known as miracle berry, sweet berry, and miraculous berry. The sweet, miracle fruits also help you to cut down the calories. At the same time, excessive consumption of miracle fruit also results in acidity.
Synsepalum dulcificum is a plant known for its berry that, when eaten, causes sour foods subsequently consumed to taste sweet. This effect is due to miraculin. Common names for this species and its berry include miracle fruit, miracle berry, miraculous berry, sweet berry, and in West Africa, where the species originates, agbayun, taami, asaa, and ledidi.
The berry itself has a low sugar content and a mildly sweet tang. It contains a glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue’s taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet. At neutral pH, miraculin binds and blocks the receptors, but at low pH miraculin binds proteins and becomes able to activate the sweet receptors, resulting in the perception of sweet taste. This effect lasts until the protein is washed away by saliva (up to about 30 minutes).
The names miracle fruit and miracle berry are shared by Gymnema sylvestre and Thaumatococcus daniellii, which are two other species of plant used to alter the perceived sweetness of foods.