Can cutlery fool our taste buds and help us eat healthier?
This is hoped by US researchers who have developed a spoon that they say can make food taste sweeter — without added sugar.
In theory, this could mean that we don’t have to look for sugary options, including sweeteners, which, according to the available data, may be associated with changes in the gut microbiome (a colony of microbes increasingly associated with immunity), because we could eat plain yogurt. , although, for example, a spoon will make it sweeter.
The spoon, whose design is in its early stages, will have ribs on the underside to increase the surface area that makes physical contact with the taste buds on our tongue.
Importantly, these bumps will be coated with a layer of molecules called ligands, chemicals that interact with specific receptors on cells to trigger a physiological response. She has certain forms and properties that allow her to move into a specific future.
In this case, the researchers say, the ingredient is sugar that sticks to the spoon.
As a result, the spoon will stimulate specific sweetness receptors in the taste buds without the need to eat sugar.
“It’s a great idea,” says Dr. Carl May, a biochemist at the University of Bristol who was not involved in the project. “This spoon will make our brain think we’re eating sugary food. After all, the tongue can detect sugar, but ‘sugar’ is a ligand.” It sticks to the spoon, not to the food we eat.
The American designers who named the spoon Sugarware recently placed second among students in the 2022 Biodesign Sprint, which showcases new ideas in biotechnology.
Sugarware team member Caroline Chiu, a student at the University of California, Davis, told the judges that their target audience is people with diabetes or those looking to cut back on sugar.
“You might think that we already have artificial sweeteners on the market,” she said, but pointed to evidence that artificial sweeteners can have a negative effect on the gut microbiome, and so we thought that if we didn’t eat sugar in everything, including artificial sweeteners – we could solve this problem.
As Dr. Havovi Sheher, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, explains, artificial sweeteners can affect the types of bacteria in our gut and how they work.
Sugar tools are still in their infancy, but microbiologist Xue Su, who also designs the spoon, said: “We contacted the R&D (research and development) team of Mars Wrigley (the food manufacturer that sponsored the competition) as a good attempt to promote our research”.
Source: Daily Mail
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