Japan’s first research and development of “electric chopsticks” can increase the salty taste of food through electrical stimulation

  Recently, Japanese scientists have pioneered the development of a “power-generating chopsticks” device. By using this power-generating chopsticks, people can feel the salty taste when eating without adding additional salt.
  This new type of power-generating chopsticks was jointly developed by the laboratory of Yoshiaki Miyashita, a professor at the Department of Frontier Media Science at the School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences at Meiji University in Japan, and beverage manufacturer Kirin Holdings Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Kirin Holdings”).
  Kirin Holdings declared on its official website, “This is the first study in the world to enhance the salty taste of food through electrical stimulation.”

  So, how does the user feel the salty taste through the power-generating chopsticks? It is reported that the “golden partner” of the power-generating chopsticks is a mini computer worn on a wristband.
  The working principle of the power-generating chopsticks is that it sends the sodium ions in the food directly to the mouth through the power-generating chopsticks through a weak current, and the user will feel the salty taste at this time. That is to say, although there is not much salt in food, through this way of sodium ion transmission, the user can feel the salty taste.
  Kirin Holdings pointed out in an article, “Chopsticks use very weak electricity, which is not enough to affect the human body, to regulate the function of sodium chloride and sodium glutamate, and change the taste of food by making the food appear thicker or lighter. The perception of taste.”
  That is to say, the electricity-generating chopsticks make the user feel that the taste is “salter”, but in fact no additional salt is added, but under the action of the electricity-generating chopsticks, the user feels and truly increases the salt. same effect.
  So to what extent does this “feel saltier” taste go? According to Kirin Holdings, in this study, there was no loss of taste due to the use of electric chopsticks when the salt content was actually reduced by 30%.

  In order to verify the actual effect of electric chopsticks, the team conducted related experiments. They recruited 36 volunteers and had them taste food samples with regular and reduced amounts of salt. When the volunteers used traditional chopsticks to eat, they were able to clearly distinguish between the two food samples of regular salt and reduced salt. However, when eating with “electric chopsticks”, the volunteers thought both food samples were equally salty.
  Miyashita Yoshiaki and Kirin Holdings told the media, “The device can increase the salty taste of low-sodium food by about 1.5 times.” The effect was confirmed. They believe that by generating chopsticks, “the richness, sweetness and overall taste of the dish have been improved.” The
  World Health Organization’s recommendation for people’s daily salt intake is no more than 5 grams per day, which is about the equivalent of a teaspoon. . But the reality is that most people around the world are consuming an average of 10 grams of salt a day, which is twice the World Health Organization’s recommended standard.

  According to the Japan Hypertension Society’s Guidelines for the Treatment of Hypertension, “It is necessary to reduce the current intake of salt in the Japanese diet by more than 20%. In addition, although it is believed that consuming less than 6 grams of salt per day can prevent serious lifestyle Related diseases.”
  Excessive intake of salt will lead to an increase in the incidence of diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, directly or indirectly posing a threat to people’s health. According to the World Health Organization’s 2021 data, “about 3 million people worldwide die of heart disease and stroke each year.” Therefore, in recent years, the world as a whole has advocated a low-salt and low-salt life.
  Usually, to ensure low-salt intake, most of them rely on people’s good eating habits. For example, consciously reduce the addition of salt when cooking and processing food, and minimize the consumption of salty sauces and condiments such as soy sauce and stock. Minimize or avoid foods high in salt, such as snacks, canned foods, etc.
  In addition to relying on self-consciousness, people also think of using detectors to accurately quantify the daily salt intake to achieve the effect of low salt. But after all, really let those “heavy tastes” restrain themselves, and it may be difficult for them to really reduce salt in their lives.

  The development of this power-generating chopstick is a good thing for lovers of “heavy taste”, which can not only alleviate people’s “psychological demand” for sodium intake, but also reduce the actual salt intake.
  This kind of research and development that combines stimulating human sensory experience with technology is not the first time. Before this, Professor Miyashita Yoshiaki and his team developed a TV screen that can be licked with the tongue. People perceive the taste of food in this way without actually eating it, through the transmission of relevant tastes on the TV screen.
  It is reported that the cooperation between Miyashita Fangming and Kirin Holdings is not only about power generation chopsticks, but they also developed spoons and tea bowls together, which are similar to power generation chopsticks. At present, they are jointly conducting related tests of power-generating chopsticks to further improve the related functions of power-generating chopsticks, and are expected to officially launch power-generating chopsticks in the market next year.