Are you missing tucking into a large burger or a cheesy pizza from your favourite restaurant during lockdown? Now, you can get the taste of all those indulgent foods you have been craving for even if you can’t get to eat it. Welcome to the no-limits age of virtual world. This lockdown has boxed all the aspects of our routine life into a screen. From catching up with friends to shopping, from attending school classes to virtual partying – it’s all happening in the virtual world. And since, we also can’t visit restaurants to try different foods right now, here’s a new technology that can let you taste the food of your choice, virtually.
Homei Miyashit, a researcher from Meiji University, Japan has developed a handheld digital device that can recreate all taste sensations associated with food, when you lick its tip. Don’t worry the electrically charged device is created in low voltage and causes no harm, according to the researcher.
Intrigued? Watch this video for more information on this new-age virtual food tasting device:
Miyashita said, “The synthesiser has allowed users to experience the flavour of everything from gummy candy to sushi without having to place a single item of food in their mouths.”
This “lickable screen” device called Norimaki Synthesiser uses electrolytes inserted into five gels controlling the five basic flavours: sour, sweet, bitter, salt and umami (Japanese word for ‘savoury’). When the five-tube device comes in contact with the tongue, it stimulates all five taste sensations. But, when different electrical charges are applied, some tastes can be heightened while others fade away.
“When applied to the tongue with no voltage, the user can taste all five tastes. However, when an electric potential is applied, the cations in the gel move to the cathode side and away from the tongue, so that the flavour is tasted weakly. Our study differs from previous work in that it uses an electric current for electrophoresis rather than electrically stimulating the tongue, and it does not involve ingestion of a solution to deliver the taste,” explains Miyashita.