Japan Invents Electric Chopsticks To Enhance Saltiness In Food
Image Credit: The electric chopsticks will help reduce sodium intake. Image: Freepik

India is a country where even less salt in a curry is equivalent to bad food. We keep on sprinkling more salt on top of a dish to make it suit our taste buds, which are used to a particular salt level. But going by several studies, excess salt intake isn’t a great idea for your health, just how excess sugar isn’t. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends keeping the daily salt intake limited to less than five grams per person (which is about one teaspoon). But globally, the quantity is much higher. Excess salt intake leads to several ailments including high blood pressure and heart diseases. While asking and making people aware of this is an ongoing process, it looks like Japanese researchers have already come up with an interesting and eclectic solution to tackle the issue. They have devised a pair of electric chopsticks that can enhance the salty taste in your meal to a particular level, and help cut down on your daily sodium intake. 

The technology is jointly being developed by Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita and beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co. Did you know Miyashita has previously also developed a lickable television screen? Yes, he was in the news recently to create a device that can imitate the flavours of food. And now he is on to this new project where electric chopsticks can enhance the taste of your food 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. Interesting, isn’t it?

Now, you may wonder what’s the point of developing such a device. Asian countries, like Japan, have a cuisine that is particularly salty. People regularly consume excess salt, since Japanese diets place a lot of importance on salty flavour profiles. From ramen, noodles to curries, salt is integral to all such delicacies. This leads to the recommended dietary allowance exceeding by at least double, resulting in various diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke. 

Speaking about the same Kirin, researcher Ai Sato said, "To prevent these diseases, we need to reduce the amount of salt we take." He also explained that cutting down on salt in a conventional way will also cut down many of our favourite foods from our diet or endure bland food. With electric chopsticks, one can simply control the amount of salt. According to reports, the electric chopsticks could be soon commercialised and hit markets by 2023 itself. 

Speaking of chopsticks reminds me how a lot of people find it tough to hold and use chopsticks. Several memes and hilarious videos have been made on the slightly problematic way of using chopsticks. Even celebrity chef Ranveer Brar couldn’t hold himself back and shared a funny post on it. Read more about it here.

What did you think of this innovation of electric chopsticks? Let us know.