Erowid
 
 
Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
Support honest drug info & help us reach a new high for the
number of $5+ donations in a month. Our goal is 1,376.

Donate by Bitcoin
From: andersom@spot.Colorado.EDU (Marc Anderson)
Newsgroups: sci.med,alt.drugs,alt.psychoactives
Subject: Miracle Berries anyone?
Message-ID: <1993Apr16.233732.12261@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>
Date: 16 Apr 93 23:37:32 GMT

[From Kalat, J.W.. (1992):  _Biological Psychology_. Wadsworth Publishing Co.
Belmont, CA.  Pg. 219.  Reproduced without permission.]



Digression 6.1:  Miracle Berries and the Modification of Taste Receptors

Although the _miracle berry_, a plant native to West Africa is practically
tasteless, it temporarily changes the taste of other substances.  Miracle
berries contain a protein, _miraculin_, that modifies sweet receptors in
such a way that they can be stimulated by acids (Bartoshuk, Gentile, 
Moskowitz, & Meiselman, 1974).  If you ever get a chance to chew a miracle
berry (and I do recommend it), for about the next half an hour all acids 
(which are normally sour) will taste sweet.  They will continue to taste
sour as well.

Miraculin was, for a time, commercially available in the United States as a
diet aid.  The idea was that dieters could coat their tongue with a miraculin
pill and then eat and drink unsweetened, slightly acidic substances.  Such
substances would taste sweet without providing many calories.

A colleague and I once spent an evening experimenting with miracle berries.
We drank straight lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, even vinegar.  All tasted
extremely sweet.  Somehow we forgot how acidic these substances are.  We 
awoke the next day to find our mouths full of ulcers.

[... continued discussion of a couple other taste-altering substances ...]


Refs:  

Bartoshuk, L.M., Gentile, R.L., Moskowitz, H.R., & Meiselman, H.L.  (1974):
   Sweet taste induced by miracle fruit (_Synsephalum dulcificum_). 
   _Physiology & Behavior_.  12(6):449-456.


-------------


Anyone ever hear of these things or know where to get them?


-marc
andersom@spot.colorado.edu

===========================================================================

From: bagg@ellis.uchicago.edu (matthew john baggott)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs,alt.psychoactives
Subject: Re: Miracle Berries anyone?
Message-ID: <1993Apr19.210709.14562@midway.uchicago.edu>
Date: 19 Apr 93 21:07:09 GMT

In article <1993Apr16.233732.12261@ucsu.Colorado.EDU> andersom@spot.Colorado.EDU (Marc Anderson) writes:

>[From Kalat, J.W.. (1992):  _Biological Psychology_. Wadsworth Publishing Co.
>Belmont, CA.  Pg. 219.  Reproduced without permission.]

>Digression 6.1:  Miracle Berries and the Modification of Taste Receptors
>
>Although the _miracle berry_, a plant native to West Africa is practically
>tasteless, it temporarily changes the taste of other substances.  Miracle
>berries contain a protein, _miraculin_, that modifies sweet receptors in
>such a way that they can be stimulated by acids (Bartoshuk, Gentile, 
>Moskowitz, & Meiselman, 1974).  If you ever get a chance to chew a miracle
>berry (and I do recommend it), for about the next half an hour all acids 
>(which are normally sour) will taste sweet.  They will continue to taste
>sour as well.

Lamont G. and I were discussing this sort of thing the other day.  Some
MDMA users feel that taking MDMA sublingually produces more intense
experiences than swallowing the compound.  Unfortunately for them, MDMA
tastes awful.  We talked about whether one tactic might be to take 
something (miraculin, curculin, or a related substance, or perhaps a
local anaesthetic) in order to temporarily alter one's perception of
taste.

Ron Siegel in _Intoxication_ briefly dicusses these compounds.

>Refs:  
>
>Bartoshuk, L.M., Gentile, R.L., Moskowitz, H.R., & Meiselman, H.L.  (1974):
>   Sweet taste induced by miracle fruit (_Synsephalum dulcificum_). 
>   _Physiology & Behavior_.  12(6):449-456.

Another one is:

Kurihara, Y. (1992): "Characteristics of antisweet substances, sweet proteins,
	and sweetness-inducing proteins." _Critical Reviews in Food Science
	and Nutrition_ 32(3):231-252.

>-------------
>
>
>Anyone ever hear of these things or know where to get them?

The most obvious route would be to grow the plants oneself.  Perhaps we
should post a delicately phrased question to rec.gardens asking about
sources of seeds and plants.

>-marc
>andersom@spot.colorado.edu

     --Matt