according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, we know that currently the average daily salt intake, twice that recommended by the World Health Organization and quantity cause 1,65 million deaths per year worldwide, representing one in ten deaths from cardiovascular reasons.
Many countries are taking steps in their health policies aimed at reducing sodium intake in diets and menus of its citizens. Even in some major cities have taken action through restaurants to raise awareness among customers of the problem of excessive salt intake.
Measures against salt consumption in restaurants
Specifically in New York City the big chain restaurants, those that have more than 15 establishments, is it so required to include a triangular icon with a salt shaker when the plate contains sodium above the recommended limit.
In the case of Buenos Aires the measure was stronger as more than 20.000 restaurants, bars and hotels in the province pledged to remove salt shakers tables and only take them if the customer requests it after trying the dish, in order to fulfill a campaign to combat the epidemic of hypertension that affects three out of ten bonaerenses.
It's without doubt that changing consumer habits of the population to improve public health It is a huge challenge that we face, but How technological progress can help reduce the amount of sodium we consume in our meals?
I present an invention that I sincerely believe that it can be a good example of a line of research that gets mitigate or replace those habits that is scientifically proven to harm the health of citizens.
Is about “ELECTRO” an electric fork generating short bursts of current in the language that replaces the sensation of salty taste when the customer presses a button, really it does is fool the taste buds experience the taste, imitating a salty taste, acid, bitter metallic.
The invention has been developed in recent 6 years for research team at the University of Tokyo captained by Hiromi Nakamura. The prototype is not high-tech, parts cost less than 20$ in total including a battery that allows you to generate enough energy for electric shock and a potentiometer to control the intensity of saltiness.
Salt is necessary for life, but often we tend to consume too much of this product despite the high risk to the body. To most people find it very difficult to reduce salt intake, technology can help us reduce this consumption by increasing the perceived saltiness of food.
Dinners in restaurants without salt
The research team is organizing various dinners at restaurants in Tokyo to demonstrate the utility of the holder and apparently all diners who have tried unanimously certify the value of the invention.
Of course they are also being tested in other environments, as hospitals with patients who have health problems consuming a diet with nothing sodium.
This invention is included within a project called “the restaurant salt” whose goal is to get any restaurant diners can taste the dishes low in salt but with a sense of salinity according to the personal needs of each individual.
Definitely a step closer to what I call the “digitalization of the senses”, for me one of the most exciting fields of research within this digital conversion process where we find and we will propose replacing odors, flavors or other digital components sounds that mimic.