Food company Kirin has teamed up with scientists from Tokyo’s Meiji University to create unusual chopsticks. They are able to give food a salty taste. To do this, small electrical charges stimulate the receptors on the tongue in an appropriate way.
According to the developers, the main difficulty is finding the right waveform that affects the sodium chloride ions responsible for the salty taste. The current also affects monosodium glutamate ions, which are responsible for the umami taste in miso soup and a number of other dishes. During the development, an experiment was conducted on volunteers. They were fed a salt-containing gel and then asked to rate their salinity levels to establish a benchmark.
The subjects were then given a 30% reduced salt gel, and the volunteers noticed the difference. In the final part of the experiment, volunteers ingested the same gel using innovative chopsticks. The subjects suggested that the salt was doubled.
According to the researchers, their cutlery will help lovers of salty foods to reduce the amount of salt they absorb, since its excess is harmful to health. The developers claim that the current strength is quite low, which reduces the negative impact on the body to zero.