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Miracle Fruit and Flavor: An Experiment Performed at APS 2010

The results are in! At Convention last year APS Past-President Linda Bartoshuk led a miracle fruit experiment with the audience during the Presidential Symposium in Boston, MA. Audience members tasted ‘miracle fruit,’ a freeze-dried West African berry, that changed the way they tasted fruit they ate afterwards.

Bartoshuk shared the results with attendees in a poster presentation at the APS 23rd Annual Convention in Washington, DC.

Synsepalum dulcificum berries (miracle fruit) affect the tongue such that sweet taste is added to acids. In a study of 823 subjects (APS 2010), after eating miracle fruit, strawberries and lemons were sweetened as expected; what’s more, their flavors were also intensified. This effect has not previously been demonstrated.

The results were presented Saturday, May 28, 2011 from12:00 PM – 1:00 PM in Columbia Hall.

Linda Bartoshuk, University of Florida

John Bohannon, Contributing Correspondent for Science

Donal Cahill, Harvard University

Elizabeth Cogan, Montclair State University

Larisa Heiphetz, Harvard University

Kathryn Hobbs, Harvard University

Sonia Hudson, University of Florida

Sara Hope Lincoln, Harvard University

Tyler Lorig, Washington and Lee University

Renee Marton, Institute of Culinary Education

Harold McGee, New York Times

Scott Parker, American University

Charles Sims, University of Florida

Laura Tully, Harvard University

Deb Zellner, Montclair State University


Linda speaking at last year’s Presidential Symposium in Boston, MA:

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