Researchers have found a sugar replacement… and it’s mushrooms

Allison Yee

An attack of the 3pm sweet snack guilts could soon be a thing of the past thanks to reports there’s a new kid on the health food block – mushrooms.

This sounds a little weird science, but hear us out.

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American start-up company MycoTechnology has discovered that an invisible fungus molecule called mycelium can stop your tastebuds from experiencing the less-than-fun flavours that occur in foods, such as bitterness.

Lots of foods are naturally bitter – think coffee, wheat based foods and chocolate – which is why sugar is often added at the processing stage to make them taste better.

New research says mushroom molecules could be the next big sugar replacement. Photo: Getty images

As we all know now, sugar is not our friend, which has left food companies scrambling to find alternatives.

Researchers say once dried and crushed, mycelium – which is part of the mushroom root system - works by sitting on the bitter-detecting tastebuds of your tongue, blocking the bad flavours and reducing the need for masking agents.

“What we’ve done is create something that’s totally the opposite of a masking agent. We created a bitter blocker,” CEO of the MycoTechnology Alan Hahn told Quartz.

It’s recently been approved for use in Australia, so who knows, you might be eating invisible mushroom molecules sooner than you think!

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