Digital simulator recreates taste sensations on tongue
Researchers have developed a digital taste simulator that can produce the four main elements of taste; salty, sweet, sour and bitter. The device is able to transmit the taste through two silver electrodes that touch the tip of the tongue.
The device manipulates three properties of electric currents–polarity, magnitude and frequency. This tricks the brain into thinking the user is tasting food. Researchers believe that it could one day be used for people to taste the food they see on cooking shows.
Even more useful, diabetics might be able to use the device to taste sweetness without changing their blood sugar levels. Or, people who have undergone chemotherapy for cancer could use it to improve or regenerate their sense of taste, which can be severely impaired with treatment.
The researchers say they're working on a way to emit smell and texture to the user, as well as simulating another taste, umami, which is known as the savory taste.