Japan is known for its warm culture and technological advancement. Recently, the country has come up with electric chopsticks to enhance the salt level in food.
Japan witnesses an excess amount of salt consumption. It was reported that the country has increased its daily intake from 10.7g to 11g, according to recent data collected. This unlikely high consumption of salt is also due to their staple diet like miso and soy sauce that are already high in sodium.
Kirin and Meiji University’s School of Science and Technology’s development of electric chopsticks producing the taste of salt aim to reduce the actual sodium intake. In the age of technology, these chopsticks work through electrical stimulation and a mini computer-like device worn on the eater’s wrist. The sodium from the food is transferred through the chopsticks, to the mouth, creating a sense of saltiness. These chopsticks will most likely hit the market by next year.
Kirin, food and drink manufacturer and part of the device development team, shared with The Guardian that chopsticks will use “very weak” electricity which will not affect the human body. “To adjust the function of ions such as sodium chloride and sodium glutamate to change the perception of taste by making food seem to taste stronger or weaker”, Kirin said in a statement.
Japan’s high consumption of salt is alarming. Experts warn that the Japanese are becoming the most ‘salt-friendly’ people in the world.
High salt intake leads to high blood pressure, leading to heart strokes or heart attack. In the 1960’s, the Japanese population saw a rise in death from strokes that were directly related to salt consumption. The population in the north was consuming as much as 18g a day. The concerning situation then led Japanese Government to conduct public education programs to spread awareness.