Scientific Name: Synsepalum dulcificum
Other Names: miracle berry, miraculous berry, sweet berry
Description: Miracle fruit has an unique glyco protein that inhibits taste buds’ perception of sour taste for half an hour up to a couple of hours. They can make lemons taste like lemon candy. The fruit can be used to enhance the flavor of grapefruit, strawberries, and lychees. The fruit also acts as an appetite stimulant for chemotherapy patients. The effects of the glyco protein masks the metallic taste that food tends to get after chemo treatment. The plants are best grown in containers, and they can remain in a seven gallon pot indefinitely.
Fun Fact: Miracle fruit makes sour things taste sweet and can last from 15 minutes to 2 hours.
Permaculture Uses: the fruit has notable amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin E and various amino acids that the body requires for numerous functions. The fruit is incredibly low in calories, only 1/2 calorie per berry, and also boasts a number of polyphenolic compounds and antioxidants that make you healthy. The berry of the miracle fruit plant is also used as medicine. People take miracle fruit to treat diabetes and correct chemotherapy-related taste disturbances. In foods, miracle fruit is used as a low-calorie sugar-free sweetener.
Pollination: self fertile but benefits from mechanical assistance.
Local Challenges: None noted.