Chopsticks stimulate certain receptors on the tongue and cause bland foods to be perceived as very tasty.
Today we can find all kinds of everyday products that have already received their “smart” version on the market. Fryers, vacuum cleaners and all kinds of household appliances already have many models that practically do the work for us. This time we highlight the new experimental proposal of the Japanese university of Meiji, which has created some chopsticks that make everything you eat with them taste better.
The invention may seem very revolutionary, but it is actually based on a very simple premise. The objective of the researchers was not to enhance the flavor of the food, but rather they intended to create an alternative to avoid excess salt in food. The Japanese Ministry of Health warned long ago that salt intake rates in Japan were excessively high in contrast to World Health Organization recommendations. That’s where the Meiji researchers come into the picture.
Chopsticks stimulate receptors on the tongue and create the sensation of salty taste
This university is a pioneer in research on food-related stimuli, and has carried out many experiments over the years. One you may have heard of is a device capable of emulating almost any flavor simply by coming into contact with the tongue.
As a latest development, the team has managed to create smart chopsticks capable of emulating the taste of salt in food, ensuring that bland foods can be experienced as very tasty. At the end of one of the chopsticks is a metal plate that transfers an electrical current with a specific waveform to the diner’s mouth. This current “activates” the taste receptors in the mouth that affect the ions in sodium chloride (common salt) and monosodium glutamate.
The feeling is that the food is seasoned with salt, but in reality it is just an illusion. Carrying out numerous experiments, scientists have shown that foods with 30% less salt can be perceived as being perfectly seasoned thanks to chopsticks. The device works with a battery that you can comfortably wear on your wristbut other than that (and the connecting cables of course), the chopsticks look totally ordinary.
Not many people will see it safe to put a few chopsticks connected by cables, but the electrical risk is almost non-existent. The research team claims that the electrical discharge induced by saltiness in food is hardly noticeableand much less harmful to humans.
This discovery has reopened the debate on how the kitchen will work in the future. Using this type of technology we could achieve trick our brain into interpreting flavors that don’t actually exist in a dish. After all, it is all a nervous impulse, if we can find a way to master it, the possibilities are endless. It is not the first time that we see how technology breaks into the world of cutlery, but it is certainly surprising to analyze its great advances.
Related topics: Technology