Miracle berries boost buds

A lime, a lemon, a grapefruit and a bottle of hot sauce may seem like an unlikely combination of ingredients, but Peter Katz begs to differ. “We have found a way to mess with our taste buds,” Katz said.  “Now we can devour these foods with great health benefits that we otherwise wouldn’t eat.”Katz is the East Coast representative for a new product called “mberry,” — small, red tablets comprising solely  “miracle fruit” powder and cornstarch. This miracle fruit, or synsepalum dulciticum, is found naturally in West Africa and contains a protein that attaches to taste buds to turn healthy, bitter foods into a sweet flavor, Katz said. The fruit itself is very expensive, valued at up to $5 per berry, and has a short shelf life. This mberry product, however, is only $15 for 10 tablets, with the equivalent of three berries in each, he said.This small tablet makes lemons taste like lemonade, devoid of the eye-watering sourness that usually accompanies it, according to the mberry website. “The lemon was my favorite,” first year Ayano Honda said.  “It tasted like a very sweet lemon drop, like candy.”Others said the tablets suited their taste buds.”It tasted like it was dipped in sugar,” sophomore Elissa Horowitz, another student who has experimented with the mberries, said.People around the world have used this berry’s unique property to share with friends and family and experiment with different foods. Some have even started throwing “flavor tripping” parties, where guests pay to eat the fruit and subsequently try variations of a wide range of snacks, Katz said.Although novelty is an important aspect of this new product, the intent of the mberry is much more altruistic than taste-testing soirées.Mberry could potentially improve the lives of those suffering from diabetes and cancer, Katz said. Diabetics now have an alternative to sugar and the ability to eat sour foods like lemons, which are high in vitamin C and help reduce the body’s blood sugar level, without the unpleasant taste, according to the website.Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments, who are subjected to a disagreeable metallic-like taste in food, could use the mberry as an appetite stimulant and also a solution to a harsh aftertaste, Katz said.Not only is this product helpful to those dieting and attempting to limit their sugar intake, but it could be an answer to America’s childhood obesity problem by wiping out the desire for sugar, he said.”If we can teach the youth to eat good, healthy foods, then we can eliminate or drastically reduce the resulting diseases.”