Sunday, April 01, 2007

The end of Captain Crunch?...

I have been reading about the Miracle Fruit. Yup - that's the actual name. This West African berry has the odd property of resetting your taste buds to "sweet" for about an hour after you eat it.

No, really.
Within minutes of consuming the berries, guests were devouring lime wedges as if they were candy. Straight lemon juice went down like lemonade, and goat cheese tasted as if it was "covered in powdered sugar," said one astonished partygoer. A rich stout beer seemed "like a milkshake," said another. [More]

I think this is the kind of phenomenon that the Internet will ignite. Imagine what you could get your kids to eat that would actually be nutritious.
Mr. Harvey figured out how to turn miracle fruit into a dried powder and then a tablet. His company, Miralin Co., explored making everything from chewing gum to a miraculin-coated drinking straw. It developed recipes for diabetics which assumed people would pop a miracle-fruit tablet before eating the results.

Reynolds, now part of Alcoa, then owned the Eskimo Pie brand of frozen snacks and suggested trying miraculin-coated ice pops. In the summer of 1974, a group of Harvard Business School students conducted ice-pop taste tests on Boston playgrounds, giving children a choice between regular ice pops and miraculin-coated ones. The children preferred the latter by a wide margin, Mr. Harvey says. [More]

Of course the obvious problem is you would never get used to the real taste of foods - just the miraculin-masked version. So if you ever did have to eat shredded wheat, it would taste just like it looks.

It is also interesting to speculate on what this could mean to the sugar industry, diabetes prevention, obesity, and HFCS. Hence all the FDA/industry conspiracy innuendo in the links.

Still, I'm going to look for some. Maybe even order some to see what's up with that.

I'll let you know.

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