Japanese Company Officially Launches Taste-Enhancing Smart Spoon

Japanese tech company Kirin Holdings recently unveiled the commercial version of its taste-enhancing spoon, dubbed Elecispoon, which improves taste buds’ perception of salt, thus making food taste better.

We originally covered Kirin’s taste-enhancing technology a couple of years ago. The company’s researchers had teamed up with scientists at Meiji University to develop a line of smart kitchenware that used electricity to make food taste saltier and tastier than it actually was. Back then, they were testing a smart spoon and bowl which worked in tandem to make foods about 1.5 times saltier than they were, but it seems that only the spoon made it to market. Kirin Technology recently announced its newest product, Elecispoon, a smart spoon designed to improve people’s health by helping them cut salt from their food.

Excessive salt use is a well-documented problem in Japan, but so is people’s dissatisfaction with low-salt foods, so preventing serious health issues caused by salt intake isn’t as easy as simply cutting it from people’s diets. This is where modern, smart solutions like the Elecispoon come in. This ingenious spoon uses a unique current waveform technology to trick the user’s taste buds.

So how exactly does the Elecispoon work? Well, according to a Kirin press release, the tip of the spoon contains a mechanism that can transfer an electric charge to the food it touches and at the same time generate an electric field around the tongue. This field causes the sodium ions in the food to bunch together, which results in a stronger perceived saltiness and flavor.

Because we all perceive saltiness differently, the Elecispoon has four electricity intensity settings, but while Kirin suggests users start with the first level, the Japanese company claims that not even the highest setting is strong enough to cause a shocking or even a tingling sensation. Because the spoon relies on electricity to work its magic, it requires a power source – a 3V rechargeable lithium battery built into its handle.

The Elecispoon could prove a godsend for foodies who can no longer use as much salt as they’d like, but Kirin Holdings points out that not everyone should use it. People with facial nerve disorders, metal allergies, or an inability to detect pain or temperature should not use the Elecispoon. The smart spoon is also not recommended for people with electrically-powered medical implants, pregnant women, and people undergoing dental treatments.


A small batch of 200 Elecispoon smart spoons was available for purchase on the Kirin online store on May 20th, but the Japanese company announced that it will also be available at select housewares stores in Japan starting in June. The price for one Elecispoon currently sits at 19,800 yen ($128).

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