Electrically Simulated Chewing Gum Delivers Constant Flavor

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The gum that never loses its flavor open up the possibility of creating any flavor chewing gum an individual want to sample

Researchers at Meiji University in Japan are working on developing technology called as ‘unlimited electric gum,’ which electrically simulates flavor sensations when a person chews a stick of specially created gum. The electric chewing gum woks on the principle of piezoelectric effect, a phenomenon in which certain materials generate an electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress. The piezoelectric effect in this case is a piece of electric gum, which is a piezoelectric element and electrodes wrapped up in a thin plastic film. When it is chewed a small current is created, which mimics the chewer’s tongue to experience different tastes.

This device was examined at an event in Japan earlier in 2018. The participants enrolled in the test subjects reported that the gum tasted salty or bitter. They likened it to the experience of chewing niboshi, dried infant sardines which are frequently eaten either as snacks or used for seasoning in soup stocks. That doesn’t necessarily sound all that appealing, but there’s certainly scope for expansion. The researchers will be working on inducing sour, sweet, and umami (a savory taste found in foods like fermented soy products, cheese, and shiitake mushrooms) taste sensations in future.

The chewing gum was recently presented at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in Germany. Other studies are also been conducted for developing such innovative products. For instance, Dr. Nimesha Ranasinghe, currently director of the Multisensory Interactive Media Lab at the University of Maine, created a number of similarly innovative projects — ranging from a programmable cocktail glass to futuristic chopsticks able to simulate flavor by zapping your tongue with electrodes.

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About Author

Amy Carpenter is a reporter for Plains Gazette. She's worked and interned at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Amy is based in Arlington and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe oyster addiction, she's a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.