Japanese researchers Homei Miyashita and Hiromi Nakamura received this year's Ig Nobel Prize for nutrition on Thursday for research that led to the development of tableware that employs electric stimulation to allow users to sense salty taste strongly.
An Ig Nobel Prize, a spoof of the Nobel Prize that honors humorous but creative research, has been awarded to a researcher from Japan for 17 consecutive years. Ten Ig Nobel prizes have been awarded every year since 1991.
Miyashita and Nakamura's research was based on a previously established understanding that when a weak electric current flows through the tongue, such as when licking a dry cell, a person feels a unique taste. Such "electric taste" has been used to test for taste disorders.