Mr. Aliquo greeted new arrivals and took their $15 entrance fees. In return, he handed each one a single berry from his jacket pocket. ... He ushered his guests to a table piled with citrus wedges, cheeses, Brussels sprouts, mustard, vinegars, pickles, dark beers, strawberries and cheap tequila, which Mr. Aliquo promised would now taste like top-shelf Patrón.
But could it be used to combat obesity? Hmmm....
But with miraculin, would anyone be able to tell the difference between tofu pudding and creme brulee? Since it's nearly impossible to change someone's taste, perhaps what's needed to get Americans to eat better is literally to change their perception of taste.Could miraculin really do that? Perhaps?
At the very least, some folks see a business opportunity.
Some companies have been attempting to create flavor-modulating compounds that mimic what miraculin does naturally. Two of those are Senomyx and RedPoint Bio, which are also developing bitterness blockers and exploring the pathways that translate to salty.As this blog post points out, perhaps it could lead people to eat lower-calorie foods, but would it fill them up, or just lead to them still taking in as many calories as before by consuming more?
Both have partnered with or are in talks with food companies who are trying to reduce calories in their products by adding taste enhancers instead of sugars or sweeteners.
If these products reach a wider market, more and more patients might be eating foods with the same taste but just a fraction of the calories -- and they likely won't be able to tell the difference.
Paint me intrigued, but extremely skeptical.