Ever stick your tongue on a battery to see if it’s still got juice? Yeah, we all do. So you probably know that the tiny electric current it generates sort of tastes salty. Well, the Electric Flavouring Fork pictured above uses that principle to simulate the effects of salt, for those who are on low sodium diets. It’s being developed by Hiromi Nakamura at Rekimoto Lab, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, at the University of Tokyo.
The handle of the fork incorporates a rechargeable battery and electric circuit. When the user inserts the head of the fork into the mouth with food while pressing a button on the handle, a certain level of electric current is applied to the tongue. The degree of saltiness differs depending on eating habits, age, etc. This time, three current levels were available. The prototype costed ¥2,000 (approx US$17.7) in addition to the cost of a fork.
So clearly this is not a product you can buy just yet, but it’s interesting to see it’s something being worked on. You’ll have to forgive us for not getting too excited though; we won’t rest until someone invents a fork that makes broccoli taste like fries.