If you’re trying to eat healthier in the new year, maybe by cutting back on salt, here’s something that might help: cutlery that can make food seem saltier without the added salt.

Designboom recently wrote about a project from SpoonTEK.

When you turn the spoon on (and yes, setting a spoon to “on” is a thing you can do now) it generates a very small amount of electric current.

That stimulates the tongue to sense more salty taste than is actually in the food.

Researchers in Japan have also created an electric spoon that works in a similar way.

Plus, they’ve come up with an electric bowl and electric chopsticks.

According to their testing, people using the bowl and chopsticks thought the food they were eating was 1.5 times saltier than it actually was.

And that could be a big deal for public health.

Polls show large numbers of people would like to cut down on their salt consumption for health reasons, but actually cutting back can be tricky.

Salt brings out flavor, so when there’s less of it, food seems like it has less taste.

And in our time, salt is in lots of foods at the store and when we eat out, often in pretty high amounts.

These devices could bridge the salty gap by giving us more salty taste – just without more actual salt.

This Sunday at Terhune Orchards in Princeton, New Jersey, it’s Wassailing the Apple Trees.

The tradition came over from England.

People get together in the cold, drink hot cider and make noise, musical or otherwise, to drive away any spirits that might spoil the new year’s apple crop.

electric spoon, bowl, and chopsticks trick taste buds by making food ‘saltier’ (designboom)

Wassailing the Apple Trees (Terhune Orchards)

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Photo by thellr via Flickr/Creative Commons