Foods of the future cleverly turn matters of taste inside out
BRUSSELS sprouts that taste like sherbet lemons and cake that isn’t fattening? Welcome to the food of the future.
In fact, these and other foods – including a plant that grows tomatoes and potatoes at the same time – are already reality.
Other developments, include pizza that can stay fresh for up to three years. A substance named miraculin, derived from berries of the plant synsepalum dulcificum, makes everything from Brussels sprouts to lemons taste as though they have been sugar-coated.
The presenter for the BBC show, Tomorrow’s Food, Chris Bavin, asked a group of market traders to bite into a lemon before and after eating a berry from the plant.
“After the berry they were tasting lemons as if they were sherbet lemons,” Bavin said.
The berry grows only in west Africa, and scientists are now trying to find a way to synthesise the miraculin in tomato plants.
Miraculin is not sweet in itself, so it does not add calories to foods with which it is eaten.
Although it has been eaten in Africa for centuries, it is awaiting regulatory approval in Europe and the US.
It has been given the all-clear in Japan, where it is used to help treat people addicted to sweet foods.
Another dieter’s dream is eating cake without piling on weight. To achieve this, pills made from alginate – a substance derived from brown seaweed – are eaten before a meal. Research found that truckers who took a pill before eating fatladen meals lost weight.
Bavin said they lost an average of 1.4kg, adding: “They all said that if anything, they had indulged themselves more.
“The substance is naturally occurring, and appears to be completely healthy and safe.”
Drugs with a similar effect, which prevent fat being absorbed, can have unpleasant side effects.
The Tomtato – a plant that grows tomatoes above the surface and potatoes below it – has taken Ipswich firm Thompson and Morgan 15 years to develop.
The Tomtato is the result of grafting the two different plants together and works because tomatoes and potatoes are members of the same family.
Pizza developed by the US military that can stay fresh for three years was also looked at by the programme.
The secret comes from combining glycerol – a colourless, odourless, viscous liquid that repels bacteria – with dried mozzarella and pressure-cooked meat.
Chef Angela Hartnett tried it for Tomorrow’s Food. She said: “It tasted like a high street chain pizza the day after you bought it. If you were in the middle of the desert it would be an extremely comforting taste of home.” – Daily Mail