Homei Miyashita is a researcher at Meiji University, in Japan, and the creator of Norimaki Synthetizer, a lickable ‘taste gadget’. It artificially replicates any flavor without needing any food to be consumed, all you need is just a little lick. With the help of LED lighting, it triggers the five different tastes on the human tongue, which includes acidic, bitter, sweet, salty and umami.
The synthetizer uses ion electrophoresis in five electrolyte gels to, in a controlled method, recreate the five basic tastes. When applied to the tongue with no voltage, the taster can detect all five flavors. However, this is weaken when a safe voltage is applied: it moves the gel to the cathode side and away from the tongue. Therefore the arbitrary taste gadget can be used to individually suppress each basic taste.
In contrast to other studies, Homei Miyashita’s Norimaki synthetizer uses an electric current for electrophoresis rather than electrically stimulating the tongue, and it does not involve ingestion of a solution to deliver the taste either.