Miracle Fruit: Myth or Miracle?

Whenever the claims of a new ‘wonder’ fruit or veg make the rounds, you’re always left trying to decipher fact from fiction – or in this case myth from miracle. Yet after reading a few journals, chasing links around the web and testing the solidness of some of the claims, it appears that Miracle Fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is all that it claims to be and more.

The fruit, shaped the size of a grape with bright red skin carries a rather large pip for its size – think avocado or mango here. Within 24 hours of picking it begins to deteriorate and turn brown, not that this changes any of its effects, it just doesn’t look as appetising.

So what’s so miraculous about Miracle Fruit? It’s active protein dubbed ‘miraculin’ has the ability to turn everything sour to sweet. Within an hour of eating the fruit, the protein activates the ‘sweet-receptors’ of the consumers tongue and makes everything taste like a desert.
People have consumed bitter limes after eating the miracle fruit as though they were lollies. Tart Kiwi’s, citric acid, hoppy beers and tannin-laden wine all become incredibly sweet.

As a novelty, this fruit seems incredible but when you think of the benefits this fruit’s qualities could bring to diabetics, dieters and even our own eating habits we must surely acknowledge that this fruit is truly miraculous.

For us gardeners, the good news is that not only are they becoming more wide spread as fruit but propagated material is also increasing. It’s quite probable that you could be growing one of these in your own backyard – providing your climate doesn’t suffer frosts. Apart from this, they seem to be very compatible with most climates and will fruit within a year or two.

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