Feature

Innovation of the week

Imagine being able to sample any food you wanted, guilt-free.

Imagine being able to sample any food you wanted, guilt-free. Such is the premise of a virtual taste simulator currently being developed by Nimesha Ranasinghe at the National University of Singapore. It uses a silver electrode to simulate the “four well-known major taste components,” said Paul Marks in NewScientist.com—salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. The device can be used to fool the taste receptors and simulate the tang of soda or the pleasantly bitter aftertaste of fine chocolate. Researchers foresee the technology’s use in games and apps, as well as in health care. “People with diabetes might be able to use the taste synthesizer to simulate sweet sensations,” said Ranasinghe, “without harming their actual blood sugar levels.”

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