Tongue-zapping spoon claimed to boost the flavor of foods
Some people feel that their food isn't quite tasty enough unless it had added salt, sugar or MSG. The SpoonTEK spoon offers a healthier alternative, as it reportedly boosts the perceived flavor of foods by harmlessly zapping its user's tastebuds.
Manufactured by a US startup of the same name, the SpoonTEK features a built-in battery and electronics, including one electrode on the underside of its handle, and one in its bowl section. As is the case with regular spoons, the device is designed for use with relatively wet or moist foods such as soups, stews, yogurt or ice cream.
The user places one finger on the SpoonTEK's handle electrode, while the food in the spoon's bowl covers the other electrode. When that person puts the spoon in their mouth, they complete an electrical circuit in which a current runs from the spoon, through the food and into their tongue. An LED on the spoon illuminates to confirm that this is happening.
According to the designers, the result is a mild electrical stimulation of the tongue's tastebuds, temporarily enhancing the user's sense of taste. While this may seem a little far-fetched, we've already seen the same principle successfully used in flavor-enhancing chopsticks, along with an experimental cocktail glass.
Prospective buyers should take note, the device is not recommended for use by people who have implanted electrical medical devices such as pacemakers, or who are subject to seizures. People with lip or tongue piercings should also remove them before use.
The SpoonTEK spoon is available now via the company website for US$29, in color choices of black, grey or beige.