Our mission is to inform Australians, in particular healthcare practitioners, of the potential taste-modifying benefits of Miracle fruit for those people whose sense of taste has been disturbed for any reason.
In doing this, we aim to establish Australia’s first Miracle fruit farm.
Chris Beckwith and Karen Pereira
Rubyberry® MIRACLE FRUIT DISCOVERY
In early 2017 Chris Beckwith and Karen Pereira discovered the unique quality of the Miracle fruit tree. Standing amongst a grove of trees on their exotic fruit farm in Far North Queensland, they discussed with their friend Trina one of their trees, in particular the Miracle fruit tree. A member of the local Rare Fruit Society, Trina explained how the tree’s ruby-coloured berry contained a unique glycoprotein called Miraculin. After sucking a berry the Miraculin binds to the sweet receptors on the tongue making anything which would normally taste sour, taste sweet.
The trees are relatively common in the tropics, so much so the local children are well known to suck on limes after the berry, making the sour citrus taste "like lemonade" they say to their dismayed parents. Chris and Karen also discovered how in the United States the fruit's taste modifying benefits were helping people with a disturbed taste or an unpleasant altered taste sensation caused by medical treatment. The conversation turned to further understanding the fruit’s value and the possibility of somehow making it available to those Australians struggling to eat.
Having further researched the fruit’s taste-modifying activity, Chris and Karen contacted their friend, Richard in Sydney, who had difficulty eating due to illness. Everything Richard tried to eat had a metallic taste. Richard was open to trying Miracle fruit so they sent him some berries in a cryovac pack. He described the fruit’s effect as "amazing". Each time Richard had a berry he experienced relief for about an hour. For him, it meant he was able to enjoy a meal and eat with his son, parents and partner Kathy. Richard was able to start eating regularly again. He attributed Miracle fruit to his improved quality of life. Sadly, Richard is no longer with us, but through his journey Chris and Karen learnt a great deal about Miracle fruit.
In 2013 Chris and Karen made a tree change, - moving from Sydney to the Daintree Rainforest. They said goodbye to their careers in advertising and started a mangosteen farm growing the trees on Open Tatura trellises (in other words, growing the trees on a trellis in order to encourage early fruiting and pick within reach).
As a young lad, Chris’ Grandmother Ivy spoke of the family fruit farm. It was established in the early 1900’s in Victoria. He hadn’t heard of this, as his only knowledge while growing up was of the family flour milling company WC Thomas & Sons.
Following his interest in Miracle fruit, Chris unearthed historic information of the family's interest in dried fruit.
Upon the establishment of the Australian Dried Fruits Export Control Board in 1925, Grandmother Ivy’s Uncle, WCF Thomas was appointed as their Chairman and Government representative. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire - Commander (Civil) [CBE] in recognition of his service in 1926.
Ironically, Chris has realised he is on a similar path to the one the family pioneered with dried fruits over 100 years ago; but a more contemporary path, now with freeze dried Miracle fruit.
Over Karen's advertising career she has worked on many healthcare accounts. Her last position was with the Clemenger Group within their healthcare advertising agency.
PORT DOUGLAS MAGAZINE Issue 28
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