Synsepalum dulcificum (Schumach.) Daniell - syn.Sideroxylon dulcificum (Schumach.) A. DC. - Sapotaceae
miracle fruit, miraculous berry, fruit miraculeux (fr.), Wunderbeere
Evergreen shrub or small tree, up to 4m tall, native to West Africa, cultivated elsewhere; leaves simple, oval to obovate, tapering at the base; flowers creamy-white, very small, in clusters in leaf axils; fruits scarlet red, oval, 1-2cm long, pulp white, sweetish, with a single brown-black seed.
„Fruits contain miraculin, a taste-modifying, protein-based molecule that when eaten, makes sour or bitter food taste sweet, hence the species epithet 'dulcificum' – meaning 'very sweet'.Grown for ornamental or economic purposes… Seed-grown plants start bearing fruit at 2-3 years of age.“
„Miracle fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum) has been studied as a sweetness enhancer. It is an indigenous tropical plant growing in West Africa, named for its unique ability to change a sour taste into sweet. The active compound in miracle fruit is Miraculin, a single polypeptide chain having a molecular weight of 4,600 kDa and two sugars linked to two amino acid residues (Theerasilp & Kurihara, 1988) that bind adjacently to sweet receptor cells on the tongue, activating them in response to a low pH (Kurihara,1992). This effect lasts until the miraculin is diluted and eliminated by saliva. Miraculin, itself, has no taste, but stimulates a sweet taste estimated to be 400,000 times sweeter than sucrose on a molar basis (Kurihara & Beidler, 1968)… Time-intensity and temporal dominance of sensations profiles of lemonade ingested after miracle fruit ingestion indicates that it seems to be a good sugar substitute in sour beverages, as it presents great intensity and persistence of the sweetness, reduces the product sourness and presented no aftertaste, besides providing a sensory profile similar to that of sucralose, an established and recognized sugar substitute.“
[Rodrigues, Jéssica Ferreira, et al. „Miracle fruit: An alternative sugar substitute in sour beverages.“ Appetite 107 (2016): 645-653]