Need to reduce your salt intake, but want to keep the flavour?

Need to reduce your salt intake but want to keep the flavour? Source: mkupiec7

For many of us that dreaded moment comes when your health professional says you need to reduce your salt intake, but how do you do that when you want to keep the taste.

Well researchers in Japan might just have the answer. They have come up with the novel idea of chopsticks that use electrical stimulation to enhance the salty flavour of your food.

Co-developed by Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita and beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co., the chopsticks are connected to a wristband minicomputer that uses a weak electrical current to transmit sodium ions from food, through the chopsticks, to the mouth where they create a sense of saltiness.

Miyashita says that: “As a result, the salty taste enhances 1.5 times.”

Miyashita and his lab are working on technology that is designed to interact with human senses, going beyond visual and audio interaction.

Amongst the items that have developed, and not all are winners, a lickable TV screen that can imitate various food flavours.

Chopsticks that enhance food flavour are something quite different with many Asian nations enjoying the salty taste that comes with foods like soy sauce. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the average Japanese adult consumes about 10 grams of salt per day, double the amount they recommended.

And if your doctor hasn’t already told you, excess salt or sodium intake is related to increased blood pressure, strokes and other ailments including water retention.

Kirin researcher Ai Sato says: “To prevent these diseases, we need to reduce the amount of salt we take.

“If we try to avoid taking less salt in a conventional way, we would need to endure the pain of cutting our favourite food from our diet, or endure eating bland food.”

Not commercially available just yet, the developers hope to have their flavour enhancing chopsticks helping you to reduce your salt intake by early next year.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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