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The ¥47,300 DeliSofter pot looks much like the rice cookers ubiquitous in Japanese households and it does prepare rice in 24 minutes. But this invention by two Panasonic Corp. engineers is designed to do more and help people with swallowing difficulties.

The two women led the creation of a spin-off company, Gifmo Co., to sell the specialized steam cooker, which they say can turn fried chicken soft enough to be sliced with a potato chip.

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