Excess consumption of sodium chloride is the cause of many health problems from swelling and headaches to high blood pressure leading to heart attacks and strokes. Meiji University in Tokyo has developed a device that can help reduce the amount of salt in food without sacrificing taste .
These are the first chopsticks to artificially create a salty taste. The technology is based on electrical stimulation and a mini-computer sewn into a bracelet that is worn on the consumer's wrist. The weak current transmitted to the sticks does not have a harmful effect on the body as a whole, but artificially enhances the taste of salt in the mouth and improves the taste of food. Clinical trials on people on a low-sodium diet have shown that the device makes food taste about 1.5 times saltier. Trial participants given reduced-salt miso soup reported improvements in “fullness, sweetness, and overall flavor.”
Now the inventors are finalizing their prototype, hoping next year to make it available to everyone. In Japan, whose traditional cuisine includes many high-salt dishes like miso and soy sauce, resulting in average amounts of salt twice the WHO recommendation (10 and 5 grams daily, respectively), chopsticks are sure to be a hit.
Previously, the same lab invented a TV screen that can be licked to taste different foods.