Dr. Chiranjit Parmar
parmarch at sancharnet.in
Sun Apr 1 02:09:38 EDT 2007
No, the miracle fruit DOES NOT convert sour taste into sweet. It just blocks the sour taste. Alongwith this it probably also blocks some bad tastes. It have read that people in South African countries make use of this propery of miracle fruit for being able to eat BAD TASTING stale foods.
The sugar contaent of anything does not have to be very high for making it taste sweet. Even 2% is enough provided there are no OTHER tastes present. One can try it by dissolving 2 grams of sugar in 100 ml water and then tasting it. It will taste sweet.
----- Original Message -----
From: Donna &/or Kieran
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2007 7:46 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] 'miraclefruit'
One winter down in Florida I went to see a SSE member who had lots of interesting fruit trees. As we were leaving he said, "It's going to frost tonight anyway, so would you like some of my miracle fruit?'' Well, I'd read about it along with the story of the FDA routing the danger to our national sugar industry (hey, I'm just trying to fit into the tone of recent posts! Anyway, the articles back then didn't mention the govt regulator's motives, which I am sure simply involve being control freaks who positively enjoy saying no and ruining other people's lives, who've gotten jobs they have a real talent for.) He was pointing to some boring looking shrubs under the eaves by the front door that held small squishy red berries. We picked all that were ripe, laying them in the lid of a box where they left red smears on the cardboard. We went to my brother's house where we all smeared them on our tongues and sat around sampling lemons and calamondins and grapefruit and vinegar. It was incredible.
If you want to get a very similar but very brief experience of the effect, get out some sour things to sample and then dissolve a zinc gluconate tablet on your tongue. It's not a very nice experience, but it will be worth it. Don't be in a rush to get it over with, the more zinc that bonds to your taste buds, the better it will work. Then start tasting your sour stuff. The effect only lasts about 10 minutes. Keep some of your samples to taste again after the zinc has worn off. Having discovered this by accident, I have wondered if the miracle fruit and the zinc are doing something similar. There was a study that showed that people with normal zinc levels could increase their ability to taste sweetness by 20 fold by supplementing zinc. When someone complains of food losing it's taste, I always suspect zinc deficiency. And It has been reported that anorexics are invariably short of zinc. Maybe somehow the taste buds are able to absorb the zinc directly, or maybe the actual receptors, being on the surface, are able to pick it up. I don't know if this will work with other forms of zinc. Donna
P.S. Well, after writing all this, I looked at what Dr. Parmer had to say. It appears the effect may be more complicated than I had thought. Is the sour taste being converted to a sweet taste, or merely being knocked out? Seeing as vinegar also tasted sweet, and it's sugar content is pretty low (not zero though) I think that sour tastes are being perceived as sweet. An apple, not being very sour, would be boring compared to a lemon while under the influence. Actually, this would be very smple to test, just stir some crystals of citric, malic, or tartaric acid into some water, no sugar. Bassem, have you still got a berry or two left to answer this question?
I was very interested in hearing about these other two plants that can change the perception of flavor. Our tastes also change according to our needs. I once offered a solution of 1/8 tsp malic acid in 8 oz water to a woman with fibromyalgia, who thought it was sweet and offered some to her husband who was horrified at how sour it was. Malic or citric acid seem to both help FMS people who like the taste. Would probably be bad for those who dislike it. Is it possible that some of our taste buds can be literally be changed to join the opposition, and that these external methods are merely an indication that the body can do the same? (Rather as the study of psychoactive drugs has led to the discovery of the naturally occurring analogs in our bodies.)
I spent years taking niacinamide (B3) to control inflammation before I figured out I was gluten intolerant. To this very day I use it to both check for and control any kind of inflammatory problem. I chew up a 500 mg tablet. If it tastes horribly bitter, I know it won't help, that my ache is not from inflammation. If it tastes ok and leaves a sweet taste in my mouth, I know that what I have is inflammation and will respond to B3. We learned about smelling and tasting supplements, electrolytes, and the notion that our body knows what it needs from Dr. Lendon Smiths' book FEED YOUR BODY RIGHT. It has been invaluable.
This brings me to an interesting observation. Citrus fruit tastes fantastic to me in Florida in the heat. Brought back to Tennessee in the winter, the same fruit is not appealing. I remember Jon Mattson ND said that he wondered why health nuts often seemed to be in poor health, then he found out that your body makes "super duper" vitamin D only when the potassium level of your diet drops low enough. For people up north who need to convert their dwindling D levels to the super active form, eating potassium rich tropical fruits will predispose them to low calcium levels. Low calcium means poor joint strength and increased allergic reactions. His observation has sure made me stop and wonder many a time when I was opening a jar of canned or dried summer fruit in January. But then, there is something called "The Marshall Protocol" for certain chronic diseases like sarcoidosis and lupus that I'm sure you don't want to know about unless you know someone who has one. It has to do with vitamin D conversions.
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