When the person wants to get a taste of salt, all they have to do is press a button on the fork. Pressing the button will release an electrical current, which stimulates the person’s tongue.
The fork is the creation of Hiromi Nakamura at Rekimoto Lab, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies at the University of Tokyo, and it operates on batteries. The fork can also create sour and metallic tastes.
It only cost researchers around $20 to make the fork. The human tongue feels salty or sour when electricity is applied to it, and that’s the fact the device is based on.
Those who have to limit or stay away from salt will likely benefit from the technology, and those with hypertension may benefit from it too.
People with diabetes may be able to use the device if they want to stimulate sweet sensations without affecting their blood sugar levels.
The device can generate the salt taste effect easier when other spices are in the food being eaten. These spices include garlic and pepper.
Cancer patients who have had their sense of taste diminished due to chemo could use the fork too, as it may help them improve their sense of taste.
As of now, users can’t really close their mouths while using it, but there’s hope that the fork will be small enough so people can use it and almost close their mouths.