As much as we try to keep salt out of our personalities, we love pouring it in heaps over our food. Unfortunately, it’s not the healthiest choice of seasoning, especially since many pre-cooked meals already contain plenty of it, and using too much salt has been linked with a whole host of health problems, from high blood pressure and heart disease to strokes. That hasn’t stopped us eating it though, because as much as we might want to it’s a hard habit to kick.
Fortunately, Japanese scientists are working on a solution in the form of a fork which is able to generate a salty taste by stimulating the tongue with electricity. The fork is being developed in Tokyo University’s Rekimoto Lab and is intended to allow those who must eat salt-free diets for their health to at least be able to enjoy the taste. It was trialled earlier in March as part of a project called “No Salt Restaurant” where a venue was offering a completely salt-free five course meal and proved to be a success.
The fork’s handle contains a rechargeable battery and electric circuit and when the user puts the fork into their mouth they simply have to press a button on the handle which applies a small electric charge to their tongue. There are three different charges available and depending which is used, as well as the user’s age and dietary habits, the fork can also generate a sour taste which will verge on metallic if too much of a current is used. A sweet taste has proven harder to simulate, unfortunately, so there are no sugar-tinged vegetables on the horizon.
Incredibly the fork only costs around £12 to build and can be used for 6 hours before needing charged, which is a meal length we approve of. As yet there’s no news on retail availability but there are further trails planned.
Image: Nikkei Technology