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Friday, December 2, 2011

Give the Gift of Wonder: Miracle Berry Fruit Tablets

Every year, the Wondershop publishes a set of articles aimed at helping you find the perfect gift for the science enthusiast in your life. We call it Giving the Gift of Wonder. This year, we've got a very special list of great gifts ideas meant to inspire curiosity and imagination.  Some are for children.  Some are for adults.  Some are for kids of all ages!  Chances are that you'll be able to check a few names off your list with some of the ideas you find here. And as usual, we hope that you will take time this holiday season to enjoy the wonders of science!

Today's Gift Idea: Miracle Berry Fruit Tablets
Here's a nice stocking stuffer for you. Today, the Science Wondershop presents the Miracle Berry Fruit Table. The miracle berry (Synsepalum dulcificum) is native to West Africa and has been used for generations by the locals to sweeten their generally acidic and sour tasting diets. By eating the fruit and swirling the pulp around in their mouths, they discovered that their taste perceptions were temporarily modified, changing their normally sour foods sweet. Recent scientific studies reveal the reason for this phenomenon is related to a glycoprotein in the berry known as Miraculin. When Miraculin coats the mouth, it causes a temporary change in the taste buds making the mind perceive sour and bitter flavors as sweet.

Miracle Berry Tablets are great way to explore the science behind our sense of taste. Lemons, limes, grapefruit, rhubarb, and other fruits taste incredible. Just dissolve half a tablet on your tongue, and the proceed to enjoy your previously sour feast. Be sure to have all of your food prepared and at the ready before starting. (Remember that this sour food is still acidic, even if it tastes sweet, so don’t eat too much.) It’s really fun experience that kids and grown-ups can enjoy together.

Where Can I Get Them

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