Electric chopsticks make food saltier

Image for article titled Electric chopsticks make food tastier without added salt

It is unfortunate that the fundamental ingredients that make food taste better – salt and sugar – can have less of the desired effects on the human body if they are consumed in excess. But just like Virtual reality glasses can trick the eyes into seeing 3D worlds that don’t exist, these chopsticks can trick user language in taste savory flavorseven in healthier low-sodium dishes.

Jointly developed by researchers from the Yoshinori Miyashita Laboratory of the Department of Advanced Media Science, Meiji Universityand a Japanese food producer called Kirin (mostly known for its beer), the chopsticks were created as part of an effort by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to reduce the daily salt intake of Japanese people who , on average, is actually considerably higher than the World Health Organization recommendations.

The goals are to reduce the amount of salt consumed by at least 20%, but this also leads to a reduction in flavor: an ever-problematic stumbling block for those trying to change and stick to a diet. healthier. This is where the chopsticks come in. At the end of one of them is a metal contact that passes an electrical current with a specific waveform through the mouth of a restaurant that affects the ions of the sodium chloride and monosodium glutamate so that the salty and umami the flavours experienced by their taste buds are improved.

Image for article titled Electric chopsticks make food tastier without added salt

In a recent trial, added electrical stimulation was found to increase the salty flavor of a given food by almost 1.5 times. Oif he ate something with a 30% reduction in salt, the difference in flavor would be imperceptible to the user. Anyone who’s ever licked the contacts of a 9-volt battery during a challenge will agree that deliberately shocking the tongue seems like a bad idea, but the level of electrical current used here is undetectable.and the idea has many precedents.

In 2016, another team of Japanese researchers created an electric fork which enhances the flavors of salty and sour, and a company called SpoonTEK sells an improved spoon with electrical contacts that promises to not only improve flavors but also reduce the unpleasant aftertaste and flavor of foods like Greek yogurt. Researchers have even gone so far as to create lickable screens able to recreate a wide variety of tastes without putting food in your mouth.

The idea of ​​enjoying a virtual meal without ingesting a single calorie is still a few years away, but researchers at Meiji University have refined their chopsticks to create a more user-friendly version that connects to a wrist-worn battery, though this not be the case. totally ready for prime time, so for now, maybe skip the salt shaker or soy sauce.

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