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Japanese researchers develop electric chopsticks to increase saltiness

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Japanese researchers have created computerised chopsticks that enhance saltiness, which might benefit those who need to reduce sodium in their diets.

Homei Miyashita, a Meiji University professor, and Kirin Holdings Co. collaborated on the project. According to Miyashita, the gadget employs a mild electrical current to move sodium ions from food to the mouth through chopsticks, where they generate a salty feeling.

"As a result, there is a 1.5-fold increase in saltiness," he explained.

Miyashita and his colleagues have explored how technology may interact with and stimulate human sensory experiences. He has also created a lickable TV screen that can replicate various food flavours.

Taste-enhancing chopsticks might be especially useful in Japan, where the traditional diet encourages salty. The typical Japanese adult eats roughly 10g of salt per day, which is more than double the level advised by the World Health Organization.

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Excess salt consumption has been associated to an increase in the prevalence of high blood pressure, stroke, and other disorders.

"We need to minimise our salt consumption to prevent these ailments," stated Kirin researcher Ai Sato. "If we try to avoid consuming less salt in the traditional approach, we'll end up with the agony of removing our favourite items from our diet or settling for bland dishes," he added.

Miyashita and Kirin are currently working on prototypes of their chopsticks, which they expect to market early next year.

News Source: Asianet Newsable, 19 April 2022


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