This Lickable Gadget Will Allow You To Taste Any Flavor Without Food

Harin - Jun 02, 2020


This Lickable Gadget Will Allow You To Taste Any Flavor Without Food

Understanding the sensory mechanism of the tongue has enabled Homei Miyashita to successfully create this unique device called Norimaki Synthesizer.

Research has suggested that touch screens of devices like smartphones, tablets contain even more bacteria than the toilet. And of course, no experts would recommend licking them. Yet, researchers at Meiji University, Japan, think differently.

Recently, they have invented a lickable taste screen that can create any taste by stimulating 5 basic flavors that a human’s tongue can taste.

Taste
Previously, scientists thought that the human tongue was divided into different areas to identify four types of flavors: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

Previously, scientists thought that the human tongue was divided into different areas to identify four types of flavors: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. However, they later discovered a fifth basic taste called umami. This fifth basic taste plays an extremely important role in helping us evaluate whether a specific dish is delicious or not.

Understanding the sensory mechanism of the tongue has enabled researcher Homei Miyashita to successfully create this unique device called Norimaki Synthesizer.

Homei was inspired by a phenomenon where the human eye í easily fooled, leading to hallucinations and people seeing things that don’t exist.

For example, regular screens use micro pixels made of three primary colors: red, green, and blue (RGB color system). They can blend in and help users see a wide range of colors although the truth is that there are only three colors.

Tasting Device
Understanding the sensory mechanism of the tongue has enabled researcher Homei Miyashita to successfully create this unique device called Norimaki Synthesizer.

Homei wanted to apply this same phenomenon to people’s taste buds. This is why Norimaki Synthesizer is called the taste screen even though its design doesn’t resemble a normal screen product.

In the past, there have been many projects to reproduce flavors without food. But most of them focused on creating a specific flavor or stimulating the intensity of an existing flavor like helping participants taste the saltiness without adding salt.

However, Norimaki Synthesizer has a different approach using five different types of gels to create five flavors when it comes into contact with the human tongue.

These gels are color-coded and are kept in a long tube. Specifically, the glycine tube will produce the taste of sweet acid. The citric acid tube will produce a sour taste. The NaCl tube creates a salty taste. The MgCl2 tube produces a bitter taste while the Sodium Glutamic tube creates the umami flavor.

Tasting Device
These gels are color-coded and are kept in a long tube.

When the human tongue touches this device, it will taste all five flavors at once. After that, these 5 substances will blend with each other according to the adjusted amount to create a specific taste.

It is similar to the RGB principle that we mentioned above with three primary colors. The gel is wrapped in copper foil. When the tongue touches the surface of the foil, it forms an electrical circuit through the human body.

During the test, the Norimaki Synthesizer also allowed users to taste many different flavors, from the smell of chewing gum to something a little bit more complicated like sushi.

The current version of the device is a bit bulky but the research team says they will redesign it to be as compact as an electronic cigarette.

>>> Researchers Develop A System For “Virtual Taste” By Controlling Nerve Cells

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