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September 2017 – Vol. 100 No. 3

Miracle fruit [Synsepalum dulcificum (Schum & Thonne) Daniell] is a novel fruit whocse unique characteristic is to modify the taste bud and to make any sour-tasting solids or liquids sweet even without sugar. The taste-modifying effects is due to miraculin, a moleculae which binds the sweet taste receptor in the tongue’s epithelium plasma membrane. The effect lasts for about one hour. Common knowledge is that the fruit is red until a yellow-fruited strain developed out of around 23,000 plants grown in a miracle fruit farm in Calauan, Laguna, Philippines. The yellow-fruited strain has a typical growth pattern similar to that of the red-fruited strains. The fruits are of medium size, ellipsoid, and seldom crack with sudden surge in soil moisture due to heavy rainfall. Miracle fruit has potential ornamental value and is suitable fro wine processing.

{Photograph courtesy of Dr. Domingo E. Angeles, Institute of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Food Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna, Philippines}

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