Say Goodbye to the Sugar Rush? Scientists Develop Digital Lollipop


408px-Lollipop_in_motion,_May_2009I don’t know about your kid, but mine loves — and I mean an all-cap LOVES — candy. We are very mindful to make sure she doesn’t overindulge and we limit her intake of sugary sweets. But that doesn’t stop her urge to beg for treats.

It’s not her tummy but yearns for sweets but her taste buds. But now there is a newfangled invention that may lead to satisfying that sweet tooth urge without destroying teeth and ingesting needless calories. Enter the “digital lollipop.”

A team of researchers at the National University of Singapore developed the invention that is a “digital taste stimulator that can mimic the flavors of salty, bitter, sour and sweet.” ABC News notes that the device, “uses electrical current to simulate the four sensations on the tongue.”

And it’s purpose isn’t just to battle the sweet tooth, it has positive medical implications.

“People with diabetes might be able to use the taste synthesizer to simulate sweet sensations without harming their actual blood sugar levels,” lead developer Nimesha Ranasinghe told New Scientist Magazine. “Cancer patients could use it to improve or regenerate a diminished sense of taste during chemotherapy.”

Although this does sound like something ripped from a Philip K. Dick book, it’s a pretty interesting concept. And while the day when this replaces our kid’s candy may be very, very, VERY far off, the idea that sugar satisfaction can be delivered without harming the body is pretty awesome.

Do you think we’ll see a marketable “digital lollipop” in our lifetime?


Photo Source: Wiki Commons