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Augmented Flavours: Modulation of Flavour Experiences Through Electric Taste Augmentation

Ranasinghe, Nimesha, Tolley, David, Nguyen, Thi Ngoc Tram, Yan, Liangkun, Chew, Barry, Do, Ellen Yi-Luen
Food research international 2019 v.117 pp. 60-68
drinking, electrical treatment, miso, potatoes, saltiness, soups, sourness, taste, tongue
In recent years there has been a growing interest in the potential benefits and new applications that may be afforded by incorporating digital flavour augmentation technologies into traditional eating and drinking experiences. Although many studies have shown how controlled olfactory, visual and auditory cues can impact flavour experiences, there has been a relatively small amount of work that has investigated the utilisation of digital gustatory (taste) augmentation in the same context. Hence, we have created two utensils, a pair of chopsticks and a soup bowl, that apply controlled electrical pulses to the tip of the tongue during consumption in order to augment flavours through electrical stimulation. As such, in this paper we present a study that aimed to evaluate the impact of electric taste augmentation on two types of eating experiences: consuming mashed potato and miso soup. Based on this study, our findings demonstrate that 1) significant increases in perceived saltiness and sourness can be achieved when consuming unsalted mashed potato and 2) significantly higher ratings of sourness can be achieved when consuming diluted miso soup.