Scientists reveal the secrets of "miracle berry"


Which has become widely known in the United States only for a few years, such as the miracle berry cranberry has the unique ability to give sweet sour or bitter foods. And while a protein which confers this ability berry has been known that the mechanism itself, as occurs hitherto remained a mystery to researchers. Now a team of Japanese and French scientists, through the joint collaboration has found a clue, and has published the results of his efforts in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".

The wonderful berry, the fruit of the plant species Synsepalum dulcificum, grows in West Africa, and the locals have long known about its sweetener properties. Throw in one small berry mouth and hold for an hour, and you will feel that such foods as pickles, beer, grapefruit or lime, will become a pleasant sweet taste.

More recently, the effects of taste miracle berries became very popular at parties with treats that cause system shutdown taste a little similar to the actions of hallucinogens. Or, as reported by Keiko Abe (Keiko Abe), one of the leaders of the research team, the effect is quite mysterious.

To understand the magic of action miracle berry, a research team of human kidney cells grown in a laboratory dish, which was established to create a sweet receptor proteins. Next, they used certain chemicals that caused the receptor cells light up at full activation. Then, they used the miraculin (miraculin), a protein found in the miracle-yagde, which is responsible for the effect sweetener.

After various researchers added substance with different levels of pH, they found that miraculin provided three distinct types of effects on receptors. At low levels found little effect, with average levels of miraculin reaction increases and high levels of receptors were activated in full force.

It occurs because of how researchers explain that the protein miraculin being exposed acids, changes its shape. The higher the acidity, the more it changes shape. And because protein is very closely related to the receptors on the human tongue, he is changing the form, changing the way receptors respond when the acid enters the mouth. The main idea is that the more the pH of the substance, the sweeter the taste for human samples.

The end result of this research will be to introduce a number of new artificial sweeteners as an ingredient or additive for consumers who want only to sweeten the normal diet. And now, when the effects of miraculin are better understood, the researchers then try to figure out whether the artificial creation of this component in the laboratory.

Original: Physorg Translation: M. Potter

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