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Why Is Miracle Fruit Illegal? Laws Revealed!

Are you worried about buying or consuming miracle fruit because the FDA declared it illegal?

Growing, buying, or selling a miracle fruit is illegal in the United States as the fruits possess a glycoprotein called miraculin, which temporarily changes taste buds, making consumers taste sour food also sweet. Also, fruits are claimed to be addictive. 

Although not illegal to buy or sell, promoting it as having health benefits may land you in trouble.

Read on to discover whether this fruit can miraculously treat conditions or is only a bluff.

What is a Miracle Fruit?

Miracle fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum) is a small tropical fruit from West Africa that appears as a red berry the size of a cherry.

Mainly found in the rainforests of Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon, the locals have used it to sweeten their foods for centuries.

Therefore, many locals regard it as a low-calorie, healthy sweetener alternative to sugar.

SpeciesSynsepalum dulcificum
Size2 cm (20 mm) in diameter
TasteMildy sweet, fruity
FormRaw, dried powder, or infused with juice
ColorRed flesh with light pink inside

Do not be mistaken, as many people refer to it as miracle berries or sweet berries.

miracle fruits
The small fruit has a thin red skin with a single large seed inside, which does not weigh much.

The fruit pulp is not very juicy but has a fleshy texture with a mildly sweet taste.

Why is Miracle Fruit Illegal?

Many believe growing, buying, or selling miracle fruits is illegal in the United States.

Miracle fruit is illegal because the glycoprotein compound called Miraculin found in the fruit has a taste-changing effect, which binds to the sweet points on the tongue.

However, it only affects your taste when eating acidic foods with lemons, limes, and vinegar.

Therefore, it may not wholly substitute sugar, especially when preparing desserts, cold drinks, and other sugary items.

The fruit also promises to regulate blood sugar, assist with weight loss, boost immunity, and provide antioxidants.

However, the research on these health benefits is limited to only a few studies with debatable conclusions.

While it is true that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the fruit in the 1960s under pressure from the sugar industry, it is not illegal.

However, the FDA regulates the promotion of fruits, particularly those claiming medicinal benefits of the fruit.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) describes it as a fruit, but you should be careful about growing and selling them within the U.S.

Is It Illegal Around the World?

Unlike the miracle leaf plant, miracle fruit is not illegal worldwide, with many West African nations consuming the fruit regularly.

However, many other countries have started regulating fruit consumption for safety concerns.

  1. United States: The FDA may take action against companies that make unsupported or misleading claims about the health benefits of the fruits.
  2. European Union: Like the FDA, the European Food Safety Authority regulates miracle fruit-based products that make health claims without reducing sales.
  3. Japan: It is widely consumed in Japan with no strict restrictions, but specific rules are in place to limit the sale of products with unproven health claims.

The legal status of miracle fruit may vary widely from country to country, just like some fruits or plants considered illegal to grow within the state or country.

From Editorial Team 


It may be necessary to differentiate between miracle fruit as a natural fruit and a dietary supplement.

Selling or consuming the fruit is illegal in many countries so be careful before growing it.

Those interested in using or selling miracle fruit in any other way should check the specific regulations or local laws to ensure compliance.