A team of Japanese researchers has won an Ig Nobel Prize for their studies on how electrified chopsticks and drinking straws change the taste of food.
This is the 17th straight year that Japanese researchers have won an Ig Nobel, a parody of the Nobel Prize. A US science journal inaugurated the awards in 1991 for "research that makes people laugh and then think."
Meiji University Professor Miyashita Homei and University of Tokyo Project Associate Professor Nakamura Hiromi were awarded this year's prize for nutrition in an online ceremony on Thursday.
Ig Nobel officials said Miyashita and Nakamura determined through experiments how electrified chopsticks and drinking straws change the taste of food.
Their experiments led to the development of spoons that make people feel that the saltiness of foods has been enhanced.
Miyashita says low-sodium food is good for health, but not so delicious. He says he thinks his technology can enhance the saltiness of foods.
Prizewinners were announced for 10 fields. The Ig Nobel for public health went to a US researcher for inventing a toilet that monitors human waste for signs of disease.
A group of researchers from the United States and other countries won the prize for medicine for examining people's noses to find out if there are an equal number of hairs in each nostril.