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Electric Food Tricks Your Taste Buds

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In an experiment conducted at the Computer Human Interaction conference, in Austin, Texas, a group of researches added electricity to different foods and beverages, to see how the added charge might manipulate the food's flavor.

A small wire connected to a 9-volt battery was threaded through a straw, and the straw placed in a cup of lemonade. Volunteers brave enough to try this rigged drink were asked to sign a waiver, though really 9 volts isn't enough to pose any real threat. As Nick Barber explains over at PCWorld, the electrically-charged lemonade tasted blander, as though the sugar had been removed. This is because, for lack of a better term, the "flavor" of electricity simulates added salt.


Hiromi Nakamura, a Meiji University student involved in the project, said that this technology could potentially be used for dietary purposes; adding electricity to a meal, instead of salt, for instance, could be an effective alternative for people looking to lower their blood pressure with a low-salt diet.The project is still only in its research phase, so the real-world practicality of this is yet unknown.

Barber reports that he received an unpleasant shock when he bit down on a cheese cube speared on an electrically charged fork that had been turned up too high. So, probably don't try this at home. [PCWorld - Image via Timofeyev Alexander/Shutterstock]