Researchers from Meiji University, led by Homei Miyashita, have created the Norimaki Synthesizer. This lickable gadget uses ion electrophoresis in five different gels filled with electrolytes that supply controlled amounts of each of the five basic tastes. When activated, each one can apply an arbitrary taste to the user’s tongue, comparable to the way optical displays produce various shades from three basic colors.
How do you activate this gadget? Well, when electricity is applied to the tongue, the cations in the gel move to the cathode side and away from the tongue, thus allowing one to reproduces different tastes by individually suppressing the sensation of each of the gels. Unlike similar studies in the past, this one utilizes an electric current for electrophoresis rather than electrically stimulating the tongue, and does not require one to swallow a solution to deliver the taste.
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