Monday, January 16, 2006

Food: New tablets make sour food taste sweet

O.K. call me a Miserable Old Git, but I like food to taste the way it is supposed to taste - the way it used to. I can understand why "fresh" apples are often a year old, I understand why meat is gassed. However, just because I understand the economic and logistical reasons for something, doesn't mean I have to bloody well like it.

So I was quite underwhelmed to discover that you can now go online and buy tablets that make sour foods taste sweet.

Mitsuharu Shimamura, a 31 year old Japanese horticulturist has developed the world's first technology to make tablets out of a tropical "miracle" fruit, native to West Africa, which contains a sweet-inducing protein called miraculin.

TMCnet, reports that, "When people eat or lick the miracle fruit's red berries, any sour thing they eat or drink a minute later tastes sweet for about two hours. This is because the protein miraculin firmly binds to sweet receptor cells in a person's tongue when sour substances are present. The protein then transmits a false message to the brain, resulting in a strong, sweet taste in the mouth."

I can understand that this can be useful for diabetics will be able to use the tablets to enjoy a sweet taste by artificially sweetening food or drinks. However, I wonder how long it will be before the major food chains adopt the idea for economic and logistical reasons.