The taste receptor was deceived _ (: taste "∠) _
may know from the title that today we are going to talk about the mysterious fruit.
mysterious fruit, which was described in some popular science books when I was a child, is also very mysterious: as long as you chew it, anything can be sweeter than honey!
this statement is fascinating, but it is not very accurate. To be exact, Synsepalum dulcificum, a small fruit native to West Africa, does only one thing to people's taste: turn sour into sweet. After chewing this fruit, very sour lemons will taste like sweet oranges, greatly increasing their sweetness. However, if it is bitter, it is still bitter and will not become sweet. This taste-altering effect of the mystery fruit can last for about an hour.
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how do you do this? The exact mechanism is unclear, but let's talk about what people already know: the key ingredient that changes taste is a protein called Miraculin, which itself doesn't taste sweet. It has been found that the protein binds to human sweetness receptors, and it produces an activation dependent on pH changes: little activation in neutral environments, but taste receptors when pH decreases. In other words, it starts to give the receptor a sweet signal in a sour environment. As a result, there is a magical feeling of turning sour into sweet.
(mysterious fruit protein)
because of this property, mysterious fruit protein is also a sweetener candidate in people's minds, but there are still a lot of problems in using it in the food industry: first, the protein is not heat-resistant. Secondly, the action time of this thing is a bit too long. After you eat a food with mysterious fruit protein, the next hour will not be the original taste.
some mysterious fruit products are also available on the market, which can be used to experience this wonderful feeling. But it's important to note that although extremely sour foods will taste sweet with it, these acids don't go away. They still irritate your teeth and stomach, so don't eat too much.
(lemons are not sour, but they still turn their teeth back. )
refer to: Molecular mechanisms of the action of miraculin, a taste-modifying protein.