What is Miraculin?

Miraculin is a protein with an appearance of lumpy powder and dull red in color, isolated from the berries of Synsepalum dulcificum, a shrub native to West Africa. As a glycoprotein, miraculin consists of 191 amino acids with carbohydrate residues (13% wt) and it occurs as a tetramer (98.4 kDa), a combination of 4 monomeres group by dimere. Miraculin is not sweet but the taste buds on human tongue when exposed to miraculin perceives ordinarily sour foods as sweet for up to two hours after its consumption. The effect lasts as long as the protein is bound to the tongue, which can be up to an hour. The purified miraculin exhibited high purity (>95%) in reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography.