Wonderful miracle berry
The food world is full of surprises. The Miracle Berry is downright crazy. Eating them can make you feel like Alice in Wonderland . It doesn’t make us smaller or taller, but it actually changes our perception – sour becomes sweet thanks to miracle berry.
Do not worry, it is not a psychoactive substance, but who eats this miraculous berry subsequently perceives sour foods sweet.
This property has been used as a fun party gag for years and is sold in pill form. However, the berry is not officially approved as a food and is therefore offered in Germany as agarbatti to scent the home, even if it is clear that it is actually about consumption, as confirmed by numerous reviews.
We have already seen this detour with CBD , so products can be brought to market without having to go through and wait for lengthy approval processes. But this also means that the product remains in a special niche. However, we see in the property of this fruit much more than just a party gag. If very sour flavors can be naturally transformed into sweet ones, that sounds like a revolution in the sweetener market and a possible replacement for sugar, at least in certain applications.
Power snack instead of party gag
Many healthy foods are very sour or bitter such as cranberries or sea buckthorn, so-called superfoods. The positive properties of these fruits can be enjoyed, for example, as fruit leather in raw food quality and now, thanks to Miracle Berry, without making a face but still completely without added sugar.
We produce our fruit leather conventionally: cranberries, sea buckthorn and rhubarb are washed, crushed and pureed. Then painted on mats and dried. However, the basic mass is supplemented with some powder of Miracle Berry, which itself, by the way, is rich in antioxidants – so we add a little more superpower to our superfoods. So we can do without sweet fruits as a base, each piece of fruit leather contains the full power of the acidic superfoods and only a little of the fruit’s own sugar.
Functional Food – Sour Makes Sweet
How does the miracle berry work? The miraculous thing about the miracle berry is the glycoprotein miraculin. This protein binds to taste receptors and makes receptors for sweetness react to acidity – the miracle berry changes our perception
For our experiment, we actually worked with the party gag. We are still not 100% satisfied with our results. The effect was too weak in our trials and the fruit leather was correspondingly acidic. However, during our research we were able to establish contact with the company Baia / Medicinal Gardens S.L., which has just received Novel Food approval from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for the berry. So there are others who believe in the potential of the miracle berry beyond parties. Baia has kindly provided us with their products and we can start further experiments.
At the same time we found out that the miracle berry Synsepalum dulcificum (beautiful detailed photos by Jennifer Markwirth can be found on Flora Obscura) not only grows in Ghana, but also hangs just a few kilometers from our agency just ripe on the bush. Indeed, it is also cultivated in the Science Garden in Frankfurt. Of course we contacted them directly and visited the very beautiful garden including greenhouses. There we could enjoy the berry fresh from the bush and then get to know the sweet side of vinegar and lemon. The miracle berry is truly impressive and we look forward to a variety of equally impressive products, our fruit leather is just a first idea.
Packaging design agency with its own food lab
The idea for an extraordinary product is not the end of the story. We implement it and package it too. Packaging design for food would be unthinkable without an increased interest in what we package: food. As simple as it sounds, in reality, artwork briefings are rarely accompanied by true taste samples. We deliberately leave the PC world of PDF briefings to come into direct contact with the food. To that end, we run an in-house food lab where products are decoded and presented for the design team. In this way, the packaging designer should be able to use a deeper understanding of the food for the design. This gives rise to such beautiful ideas as the Mighty Curls!