Powerful Natural Sweetener You Probably Know Nothing About

A West African berry called Synsepalum dulcificum, only slightly better known as the miracle fruit, has a powerful natural property:

Anything you consume for about an hour after eating one tastes sweet, even substances as diverse as goat cheese and rich stout beer.

A protein in the miracle fruit binds to a patient's taste buds, altering the tongue's sweet receptors so they activate when more sour foods are eaten. Experiments intended to genetically engineer the properties of the miracle fruit have largely failed.

The miracle fruit is a bit better known in Japan, as it's sold in freeze-dried, canned and tablet forms there. The movement has spread somewhat stateside, with a modest number of American growers selling cutting and seeds so folks can grow their own plants, as the berries are highly perishable.

Wall Street Journal March 30, 2007

Truth About Trade & Technology March 30, 2007


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

With all the concerns about completely unnatural sweeteners like Splenda, you may want to learn more about this amazing berry.

I found it very interesting that when a pair of entrepreneurs tried to create a powder and tablet based on this natural fruit called miraculin in 1974, the FDA ruled it was a food additive, requiring years of testing that very effectively scuttled any commercial use of it. No surprise, considering that was the same year the agency approved the dangerous, artificial sweetener aspartame.

The same thing has happened to a number of other natural sweeteners, such as Stevia. The FDA tends to take the bizarre view of calling time-tested natural products dangerous until proven otherwise, and untried artificial sweeteners safe until shown to be deadly.

This becomes a little less surprising when you learn who pays the FDA's bills. They're in the pocket of big business, and the makers of artificial sweeteners don't want competition.

Sad but true.

You can be assured if this natural sweetener starts to catch on, the FDA will find some lame excuse to ban it so that it will not compete with artificial sweeteners.

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