Tasty Floats system
Floating food, an invention that levitates, transports and delivers food and drink directly onto your tongue. Scientists at the University of Sussex created a contact less food-delivery system that uses ultrasound to float taste sensations from the kitchen to the mouth. The Tasty Floats system promises “new culinary experiences” also potential applications in gaming, virtual reality and cinema.
Early studies show that levitated food delivers more intense flavors for the tastes that experimented with sweet, bitter, and umami.
Lead researcher Dr. Chi Thanh Vi, a Research Fellow from University of Sussex, said, chefs across the world have become increasingly fascinated by exploiting novel technologies. Indeed, most of us are familiar with molecular gastronomy, where the physical and chemical makeup of food changed to deliver new taste experiences. Foams, gels and fogs are all common sights on plates in Michelin-starred restaurants these days.
Some top chefs already presenting dishes with levitation, but this tends to use magnetic force, means the plate rather than the food is floating. The new study shows that it is possible to levitate the food and drink morsels themselves, opening a whole new design space.
The technology uses low-cost ultrasonic transducers to form a standing wave of ultrasound. The waves act as ‘acoustic holograms’, creating invisible shapes that trap the object in place in mid-air. By changing these patterns, the food can carry along on the wave and delivered to a precise location.
Researchers conducted an experiment using bitter, sweet and umami and delivered in three different volumes to the user’s tongue. The findings suggest that bitter becomes less unpleasant, despite its adverse qualities.
However, the current proof-of-concept device can only levitate tiny food pieces. The TastyFloats concept’s vision deliver bigger items in the future, which can allow more complex combinations of food items. The invention likely to excite. But, the technology and gaming companies already exploring ways of integrating taste, touch and smell into our entertainment experiences.
More information: [ACM DL]