A strange new battery-powered eating device just went on sale in Japan

Lexlex, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With more access to information than ever before, people are inventing weirder and weirder new products by the day.

However, not all of these inventions are designed to make a quick buck.

And a strange new battery-powered eating device just went on sale in Japan.

Japan sells a spoon designed to make food taste saltier

Eating too much salt can lead to a myriad of health problems, including strokes, high blood pressure, and inflammation, among other potentially serious ailments.

But a new invention has just been released in Japan that could help people start to develop healthier eating habits.

According to the World Health Organization, the average salt intake should be five grams per day for adults.

However, the average salt intake for adults is at a whopping 10 grams per day in Japan.

The Japanese company Kirin Holdings’ new Electric Salt Spoon is made of plastic and metal and is now available to help Japanese people eat better.

The device works by passing a low-level electric current through the tip of the spoon that concentrates sodium ion molecules on the tongue.

If it works as intended, the spoon will increase a person’s perception of the saltiness of the food they eat by one and a half times.

According to a survey from Kirin conducted in 2021, people who attempt to limit their salt intake often say that their food becomes tasteless.

People who purchase the newfangled spoon can adjust the intensity to four different levels.

Kirin said that it is moving into the healthcare space away from its traditional beer business model.

The spoon was co-developed with Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita, who had shown the same concept in a prototype using electric chopsticks.

Miyashita won the Ig Nobel Nutrition Prize last year, which is the first time a new form of technology has won the coveted prize. 

It began in March of 2023 when he and his co-creator performed a research study entitled Influence on umami taste of the electric taste waveform that intensifies the saltiness of low-sodium foods.

The company hopes the new invention will be a hot seller

The Electric Spoon is lightweight and rechargeable thanks to a lithium battery, and the company is putting 200 of the spoons online for 19,800 yen ($125) each.

The limited run of the spoons will be available at a Japanese retailer called Hands, Inc. in June, but the company hopes to have one million users worldwide within the next five years.

Kirin researcher Ai Sato said that “Japan has a food culture that tends to favor salty flavors.”

“Japanese people as a whole need to reduce the amount of salt intake, but it can be difficult to move away from what we’re used to eating. That’s what led us to develop this electric spoon,” he added.

Miyashita and his co-creator Hiromi Nakamura were presented with the Ig Nobel Nutrition Prize last year by immunologist and Nobel Prize laureate Peter Doherty.

Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.