This fork hits you with electric shocks to replace salt in your meal

30 Mar 201610 Shares

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Researchers in Japan have developed a new type of fork that engineers a salt flavour in your mouth by sending electric shocks to your tongue.

Salt over-dependence is a real thing. Just look on the table of every single restaurant and cafe you’ve ever been in. Eating too much salt is bad for you, but the taste is oh-so-good.

But what are your other options? Well, instead of opening another sachet or tapping on the shaker, you could always use an electric shock on your tongue instead.

At least, that’s what Hiromi Nakamura at Rekimoto Lab in the University of Tokyo is hoping, with his prototype fork delivering a specific charge for salty and even sour foodstuffs.

The logic behind what is only a prototype – and was made for a special ‘no salt restaurant’ project – is that the tongue can feel salty or sour when electricity is applied to it.

The ‘electric flavouring fork’ has a six-hour charge and, as an important yet entertaining note, is not waterproof, image via Nikkei Technology

The ‘electric flavouring fork’ has a six-hour charge and, on an important yet entertaining note, is not waterproof, image via Nikkei Technology

The handle of the fork is basically a rechargeable battery and electrical circuit, with a button on the side used as the trigger for the electrical charge.

There are a few settings programmed into the fork, to give the right flavour, although the ‘metallic’ flavour sounds pretty awful. That is a result of too much charge hitting the tongue, which needs to be worked on.

The team behind the fork are still messing around with ideas at the moment, with current tests showing them that pepper and garlic in food helps with the simulation of salt.

It’s a remarkably bizarre idea, but something that could prove incredibly worthwhile if a useable, marketable, safe product can be created.

Main salt image via Shutterstock

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Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com