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[TRICK FOR A TREAT] Chopstick technology boosts salty taste of low-sodium food

Something to look forward to? Researchers in Japan have developed an electrical stimulation waveform and chopstick device that enhances the taste of low-sodium foods. In clinical trials with people who follow a low-sodium diet, the use of the chopstick device enhanced the salty taste perceived when eating low-sodium foods by about 1.5 times.

The study included 36 men and women ages 40-65 who were reducing their sodium intake or had done so in the past. They tested the chopstick-like device that delivers weak electrical stimulation to samples that imitate ordinary food (gel containing 0.80% salt) and samples that imitate reduced-salt food (gel containing 0.56% salt). Participants then evaluated the intensity of the perceived saltiness. The same device was also used to evaluate changes in the salty intensity and flavor of reduced-sodium miso soup.

The findings were presented as an abstract in March by Yoshinobu Kaji of Meiji University's Graduate School of Advance at Interaction 2022 - the 26th IPSJ (Information Processing Society of Japan) symposium.

The researchers suggest that salty taste enhancement can be delivered by electrical stimulation on other utensils as well, including spoons, and tea bowls, thereby increasing the level of taste satisfaction with low-sodium foods. This technology may prove helpful for people trying to, or need to maintain a low-sodium diet.

Development of these devices is being supported by Kirin Holdings and the Miyashita Laboratory.

For more details, see the press release from Kirin Holdings, click here


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