Do you often sprinkle an additional pinch of salt on top of your food to increase the salty taste? Research has proven this may be detrimental for you. Just like sugar, the quantity of salt we take in everyday has an impact on our overall health. The WHO recommends keeping the daily salt intake limited to less than 5 grams per person - around one teaspoon. However, globally we far exceed this quantity leading to high blood pressure and risk of heart diseases. Japanese researchers have come up with an interesting and eclectic solution. They have devised a pair of electric chopsticks that can enhance the salty taste in your meal and help cut down on your daily sodium intake.
The technology is being developed by Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita and beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co. Miyashita has previously also developed a lickable television screen. The electric chopsticks enhance the taste by using an electrical simulation and a minicomputer worn on a wristband. A weak electrical current is generated to transmit the sodium ions from the food into the mouth where they create a sense of saltiness. The salty taste can be enhanced up to 1.5 times with this device.
The development of these electric chopsticks is especially important in Asian countries such as Japan, where people regularly consume salt in excess. Japanese diets place an importance on salty flavour profiles, thus exceeding the recommended dietary allowance of salt by at least double leading to various diseases such as blood pressure and stroke. "To prevent these diseases, we need to reduce the amount of salt we take," said Kirin researcher Ai Sato. "If we try to avoid taking less salt in a conventional way, we will need to endure the pain of cutting our favourite food from our diet or endure eating bland food."
The electric chopsticks could be commercialised soon and hit markets by 2023 itself. What did you think of this innovation? Tell us in the comments below.