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Japanese Researchers’ Innovative Tableware won the Nobel Prize

This year’s Ig Nobel Prize was awarded to Japanese researchers Homei Miyashita and Hiromi Nakamura. Their research led to the development of tableware, an innovation that employs electric stimulation to enhance users’ perception of salty flavor.  

 An Ig Nobel Prize is a spoof of the Nobel Prize that honors creative research. For 17 consecutive years the Ig Nobel Prize continuously award Japanese Researchers. Since 1991, ten Ig Nobel prizes have been given out annually. 

 The theory behind Miyashita and Nakamura’s study was that a distinct flavor can be experienced when a weak electric current passes through the tongue, as happens when licking a dry cell. In order to diagnose taste abnormalities, this “electric taste” has been utilized as a test. 

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