The magic fork that can change the taste of food
The fork can make fried chicken pieces, steaks become richer.
Did you know that electricity can change the taste of food? Japanese researchers have created an electric fork that can make food more flavorful, which can act as a substitute for some common seasonings.
According to Hiromi Nakamura, a research fellow at Tokyo Meiji University, the technology could be very useful for dieters. For example, a patient with low blood pressure can easily follow a low-salt diet and still enjoy foods with rich flavors. This electric fork won't make your food too salty. The voltage that this electric fork emits is also very low pressure, so users will not be able to receive an electric shock.
Dieters can use this electric fork to enhance the flavor of dishes.
The idea of injecting electricity into food to alter flavor was first introduced at the Human-Computer Interactions Conference in Austin, Texas, in 2012. Nakamura and her team connected the wire with a battery with a current of 9 volts and thread it into a straw placed in a glass of lemonade. Volunteers tried drinking lemonade with conductive straws created by Nakamura's team and they were surprised. The cup of lemonade already tasted like a cup of salted lemon because the electricity simulated the taste of salt.
Nakamura, along with professor Homei Miyashita, called the idea "Augmented Gustation" and refined the technology to be able to transfer electrical charge to food through forks and chopsticks. Nakamura explains: "The metal part of the fork is an electrode, and the handle part is another electrode. When the user takes a piece of food with the fork and puts it in his mouth, the electrical circuit is closed. If you take the fork out of your mouth, the circuit will be cut off. So it really acts like an automatic switch."
"Our goal was to create a new kind of taste. A taste that we humans could not perceive before."
Munchies host Simon Klose, who recently went to Nakamura to try the electric fork for himself, says it's one of the most enjoyable dining experiences he's ever tried. In the clip of the experience of eating with an electric fork, Klose shared that when he first heard about electric food, he felt quite scared. However, after using an electric fork to eat fried chicken pieces, Klose felt very excited. He felt the chicken become surprisingly rich.
Klose said: "The saltiness of the chicken is increased when eaten with an electric fork. This is wonderful. Besides the salty taste, it has a bit of a spicy taste."
The taste of electricity was actually discovered 250 years ago.
Nakuma shared that the taste of electricity actually dates back more than 250 years - it was discovered by a man named Sulzer. "One of the first factors that made Alessandro Volta decide to research and invent batteries was when Sulzer took two different metal plates and put them on his tongue. Sulzer immediately noticed a strange taste, supposedly of electricity. And that's how batteries are born."
According to Nakuma, electricity does not actually have any taste. She said: "On our tongue there are taste cells of the basic tastes such as sweet, salty, bitter, sour. Electricity only plays a role in stimulating those taste buds."
Nakamura has been eating food containing electricity for the past three to four years so that he can better understand how it works. "We're working on the built-in human senses. We're inventing a device to send an electric current to the tongue to stimulate the taste buds and create virtual taste buds."
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