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  • Kyle Chua

Japanese Researchers Develop Computerised Chopsticks That Make Food Taste Saltier

Consuming too much salt is not good for our bodies and can increase risks of cardiovascular diseases, strokes and heart attacks. Removing the ingredient from food, however, can make them taste less flavourful and appetising.

Credit: Issei Kato via Reuters

This is why researchers in Japan have invented a pair of electric chopsticks that enhance the salty tastes of food through electrical stimulation, as Reuters reports (via CNN). The chopsticks are connected to a mini-computer that’s worn on the wrist of the diner. The computer then sends weak electrical currents to transmit sodium ions from the food through the metal tips of the chopsticks, making the food taste saltier than it actually is in the mouth of the diner.


"As a result, the salty taste enhances 1.5 times," said inventor Homei Miyashita, a professor at Meiji University. He developed the invention in cooperation with Yoshinori Miyashita Laboratory of the Department of Advanced Media Science and beverage maker Kirin.

Credit: Meiji University

The chopsticks were also created to help further the goal of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to reduce the daily salt intake of the Japanese citizens. On average, a Japanese adult consumes about 10 grams of salt per day, which is double the amount recommended by the World Health Organisation.


"To prevent these diseases, we need to reduce the amount of salt we take," said Kirin researcher Ai Sato.


"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."


Miyashita and Kirin will continue development of a prototype for the device, with a target of commercialising them as early as next year.


The professor in 2021 also unveiled a prototype device for a lickable screen that lets users taste different food flavours. The prototype device uses a spray-mixing system from a carousel of 10 flavour canisters to recreate the taste of different kinds of food.

 
  • Researchers in Japan have invented a pair of electric chopsticks that enhance the salty tastes of food through electrical stimulation.

  • The chopsticks are connected to a mini-computer that transmit sodium ions from the food through the metal tips of the chopsticks, making the food taste saltier than it actually is in the mouth of the diner.

  • The invention is being developed to hep Japanese people reduce their salt intake, which on average exceed the amount recommended by the World Health Organisation.


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