A JAPANESE university professor has partnered with a beverage developer to make electrified chopsticks that alter the users’ sense of taste.
The mild electric current enhances the taste of salt by 1.5x, according to developers.
Chopsticks are thousands of years old but they are getting a modern upgrade.
Homei Miyashita, a professor at Meiji University in Tokyo, said his electrically-charged chopsticks transmit sodium ions from the food, through the chopsticks and to the user’s mouth, where a salty taste is created.
The device was developed with Kirin Holdings Co, a beverage distributor with connections to the Coca Cola Company.
The electrified chopsticks also require the user to wear a wristband that houses a small computer.
Though the device seems like a solution without a problem to some, there applications in the diet space that could be revolutionary.
According to The Guardian, Japanese adults consume high volumes of salt due to the popularity of sodium-rich ingredients like soy sauce.
The electric chopsticks are proven to enhance the taste of reduced-sodium miso soup.
The Evening Standard quoted a researcher on the project saying “if we try to avoid taking less salt in a conventional way, we would need to endure the pain of cutting our favourite food from our diet, or endure eating bland food.”
This is not the first blend of sensory detail and technology for Miyashita.
Last year, he drew the attention of the press for his device called Taste the TV (TTTV) – a TV that can be licked and tasted for a four-dimensional viewing experience.
“The goal is to make it possible for people to have the experience of something like eating at a restaurant on the other side of the world,” Miyashita said of the lickable prototype.
The lickable TV requires ten flavor canisters to project tasty liquids onto the surface of the TTTV.
Neither device is in mass production.
Miyashita hopes to have his electric chopsticks on the market early next year.
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