Tricking your taste buds - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Tricking your taste buds

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

If you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, you probably already know changing the foods you eat is a great weapon in the battle of the bulge.

But for some, that is easier said than done.

FOX 5's Sarah Simmons teamed up with our partners at AARP and found a chef who has developed a way to trick your taste buds and avoid foods that pack on the pounds.

He describes himself as a guy who likes to solve problems. Chef Homaro Cantu is a molecular gastronomist. He uses science and technology to turn our taste buds into allies in healthy eating.

And he calls it "Flavor Tripping." He explains what the term means.

"Flavor tripping means you're going to eat something, and then a minute later, it is going to taste like something else,” he said. “It will go from tasting like say, an Italian cheese course, and it will turn into a chocolate cannoli."

"I think Flavor Tripping is a real neat idea," said one diner.

How does this mad scientist create such dishes?

He uses something called a Miracle Berry. It is a real berry, first found in Africa in 1725.

Chef Cantu uses it in a powder or tablet form. He says it will literally change the taste of something like an apple to something that tastes like a cookie.

He told us about the science behind it.

"Here's how the Miracle Berry works. You eat the berry. It's got a little protein on it. That protein is going to go on your tongue,” he explained. “Your tongue has two taste receptors. One tastes sour and bitter and one tastes everything else. This little protein just latches on to your sour and bitter receptor so you can't taste sour and bitter things. So when you eat, say lemons, it goes down the other way and your brain tells you it is sweet. It's a very simple physiological effect."

But why is Chef Cantu going to such great lengths to change the taste of what we eat?

Northwestern Memorial Hospital obesity expert, Robert Kuschner, says worldwide we are facing two major epidemics -- obesity and diabetes.

"If obesity were driving in the car, in the rear mirror you would see diabetes,” Dr. Kuscher says.

He says the only way to attack these problems is if all members of society get involved, and that includes the food industry.

"Where we eat and what we eat has a very important role to play,” says Dr. Kuscher. “If we can find a way to provide the mouth the feel of something that is sweet and savory, but also reduce the sugar and total calories, I think that is a step in the right direction.”

One restaurant patron said, "It may be everyday food, but it's different in the way it tastes."

Cantu believes this tiny berry will get people to eat healthier and that in turn will reduce obesity and therefore diabetes.

He said, "We're never going to give up our sweet tooth, but what we can do is create things that taste sweet, that in fact, have no sugar at all."

He demonstrated his idea with a delicious dessert.

"For example, we serve a classic red velvet cake. It is basically a cheesecake with red velvet cake, except it is actually good for you,” said Cantu. “That's what's so crazy about it. You can eat all of the cake you want, but it tastes like you're going to pack on some pounds and it just won't do that."

"What I’m passionate most about when it comes to these issues is creating products that are fun, that solve big problems,” he continued. “And I think that is the future of gastronomy.”

And Cantu believes he can solve many of the world's pressing issues, one berry at a time.

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:24:40 GMT
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
  • New app helps teens calm anxiety

    New app helps teens calm anxiety

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:46:49 GMT
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
  • Toddler crashes Jeep, runs home to watch cartoons

    Toddler crashes Jeep, runs home to watch cartoons

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:07 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:07:54 GMT
    MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Police say a toddler crashed a Jeep into an Oregon home, then ran back to his home to watch cartoons. Authorities say the 3-year-old boy who was wearing only a diaper climbed into the Jeep Tuesday evening and knocked it out of gear. Witnesses say it rolled down the street, through an intersection and into the house, causing minor damage. KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1rhWlK6 ) an officer found the boy on a couch watching TV as if nothing had happened. He said his par...
    MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Police say a toddler crashed a Jeep into an Oregon home, then ran back to his home to watch cartoons. Authorities say the 3-year-old boy who was wearing only a diaper climbed into the Jeep Tuesday evening and knocked it out of gear. Witnesses say it rolled down the street, through an intersection and into the house, causing minor damage. KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1rhWlK6 ) an officer found the boy on a couch watching TV as if nothing had happened. He said his par...
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices