A Chopstick Breakthrough

High blood pressure is a real health concern, and one of the most effective countermeasures is lowering salt intake. Sometimes that’s not as easy as it sounds, so you have to get creative. Especially if you’re in Japan.

Japanese researchers have announced the development of computerized chopsticks that increase the salty taste of foods by about one and a half times. Co-developed by Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita and beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co., the chopsticks use electrical stimulation and a mini-computer worn on a wristband to generate a weak electrical current. This current then carries sodium ions from food to the mouth through the chopsticks to create an enhanced sense of saltiness.

The idea should appeal to the Japanese, where the traditional diet is skewed toward salty tastes. The average Japanese adult consumes about 10 grams of salt per day, which is double the amount recommended by the World Health Organization.

Miyashita and Kirin are still perfecting their chopsticks and hope to release them commercially as early as next year.

Taken from “Japan Researchers Develop Electric Chopsticks to Enhance Salty Taste” by Rikako Murayama and Akiko Okamoto (https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/science/japan-researchers-develop-electric-chopsticks-enhance-salty-taste-2022-04-19/?)

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