Electric Chopsticks Zap Tongue To Simulate Flavor

A doctor made some electronic chopsticks that literally electrocute your tongue in order to simulate different flavors of food.

By DAVID on August 13, 2018
(Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)

Something about that headline doesn’t exactly scream “appetizing,” but they’re being developed, and apparently are functional. A doctor who works with all sorts of electronics came up with the idea, and he’s got a working prototype.

The chopsticks literally zap your tongue. The send a series of electrical pulses into the tip of your tongue to simulate various flavors. No, you can’t “taste” ice cream while eating brussels sprouts, they don’t quite work that way. What they actually do is simulate bitterness, saltiness, or sourness. The chopsticks work in conjunction with a bowl that also has some electrodes on the edge. The amount of electricity involved is miniscule. We’re talking barely any sort of power at all.

Why would people want to zap their taste buds? There are a couple benefits, one of which involves salt intake. Too much salt intake causes higher blood pressure. If you need to lower your salt intake to help with your diet, you can simulate a salty taste. You get the “craving” for salt satisfied without actually consuming any extra salt. It’s really fancy tech. The doctor working on the project sort of has it on hold for now, but he’s always cooking up new ideas so we expect to see more about it in the future.

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