© 2016 NO SALT RESTAURANT Committee (J. Walter Thompson Japan / The University of Tokyo / aircord / AOI Pro. / vector Group SIGNAL, Inc. / Ishii Clinic)

20th Entertainment Division Excellence Award


Gadget, Project

KAWASAKI Kohei / NAKANO Tomohiko / NAKAMURA Hiromi / HASHIMOTO Toshiyuki / UTAGAWA Kazuki / AMANO Wataru [Japan]


This project introduces applications for a tool known as an “ELECTRO FORK” and a concomitant “salt-free cuisine full course.” The newly developed ELECTRO FORK electrically stimulates the tongue when food is eaten with it, controlling the food’s flavor through electrically generated taste sensations. The project further offers a “salt-free cuisine full course” developed by testing saltless recipes that readily bring out the salty taste produced by the ELECTRO FORK. People suffering from high blood pressure or stroke caused by excessive salt intake are unable to enjoy salt-seasoned meals. This project allows them to do so without risk to their health by enabling them to taste saltiness even in salt-free dishes and thus have a flavorful eating experience without worrying about their illness. The aim of the project is to help solve the global problem of salt intake and foster healthier eating habits and lifestyles.

Reason for Award

High blood pressure and stroke are serious problems for middle-aged and older people. One effective remedy is to reduce salt intake. Yet this is easier said than done, given that saltiness is an important factor in other taste sensations as well, and overall taste sensitivity declines with age. This work, which consists of a game-changing gadget plus a project utilizing it, promises better health through technology by offering a potential solution to the problem of excessive salt intake. Of the five senses, taste is the most difficult one to reproduce at present, so this invention rates highly as a practical application of new technology in its use of taste-sense display technology, albeit limited to saltiness. A tasty meal is one of life’s most immediate pleasures; as entertainment, the act of eating takes many forms, ranging from gourmet to gluttony. These rank with other kinds of entertainment as something we can enjoy firsthand. But cooking is also creative, and the fact that it is simple to do makes it a more integral part of our daily lives than other pleasures. What’s marvelous about this work is that it enlists technology in the service of adding cheer to the everyday. (ENDO Masanobu)