June 25, 2024
PRESS RELEASES

Kirin Holdings will begin online sales of “Electric Salt Spoon”

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited (Kirin) will launch as a new business in the Health Science domain (Health Science business) a limited offering of 200 units of Electric Salt Spoon, which enhances the salty and umami taste of low-sodium foods with the power of electricity, on Monday, May 20, 2024 at its official online store (https://electricsalt.shop.kirin.co.jp/). In addition, a limited number of units will be available at Hands Inc. stores beginning in June.
This tableware-type device is equipped with technology that enhances the salty taste perceived when eating low-sodium foods by approximately 1.5 times*2,3. The technology was developed through joint research with the Meiji University Dr. Homei Miyashita Laboratory of the Department of Frontier Media Science, School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences (Miyashita Laboratory). Through this device, we aim to realize a society in which people can improve their lifestyle in a delicious way.

1.The 3rd Neurostimulation Interface Research Meeting. March 2023
“Influence on umami taste of the electric taste waveform that intensifies the saltiness of low-sodium foods”
2.KIRIN news release on April 11, 2022 https://www.kirinholdings.com/jp/newsroom/release/2022/0411_01.html
3.Change value of evaluation regarding saltiness intensity in a sample that imitates ordinary food and a sample with 30% less salt. Tested using chopsticks equipped with Electirc Salt technology (current 0.1~0.5 mA). Thirty-one men and women aged 40-65 years who are/were currently or have been reducing salt in the past were asked about the saltiness intensity they perceived when eating the test food, and 29 of the 31 respondents answered that the saltiness had increased.

The issue of “excessive salt intake” among Japanese people and dissatisfaction with the taste of low-sodium food
The daily salt intake of Japanese people aged 20 and over is 10.1g*4, which is much higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended salt intake of 5.0g*5. In addition, salt intake has not reached the “Healthy Japan 21 (2nd stage)*6 target for all age groups over 20 years old among both men and women*7. Target will be further lowered in the 3rd stage, making “excessive salt intake” the most important nutritional issue for Japanese people according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
In our questionnaire survey of persons who are currently eating a low-sodium diet or intend to do so*8, approximately 60% of the respondents felt issues exist in relation to low-sodium foods, and of those people, approximately 80% were dissatisfied with the taste. If low-sodium diets can be continued in better tasting way, it may lead to improvement in nutritional issues.

4.Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare National Health and Nutrition Survey 2019
5.WHO Guidelines 2012
6.Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Food Environment Strategy Initiative https://sustainable-nutrition.mhlw.go.jp/contents/sodium
7.Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Basic Policy for the Comprehensive Promotion of the Health of the People
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/kenkou_iryou/kenkou/kenkounippon21_00006.html
8.Target: Men and women aged 40-79 living in the Tokyo metropolitan area (N=4,411) Format: Web survey Approximately 47% of all respondents are eating a low-sodium diet or intend to do so.

Electric Salt Spoon” addresses social issues and consumer needs
Electric Salt Spoon” is a tableware-type device developed based on the concept of “a life with delicious food for all people to address social issues and consumer needs for low-sodium food taste.
In our survey*9, respondents who are trying to reduce salt consumption ranked ramen noodles in first place and miso soup in second place as the “foods they would like to eat with a strong taste instead of a thin taste. This indicates that there is a need to eat ramen with a strong taste as a “reward” for refraining from eating it due to their efforts to reduce salt intake, as well as a need to enjoy foods that are eaten on a daily basis, such as “soup,” in a delicious way.
Directed at commercialization of Electric Salt, we have continued to develop tableware such as chopsticks and bowls, but we decided to first develop and market a “spoon” in consideration of the technical characteristics and the meals for which there are high consumer needs.

9.Kirin Survey Period: January 2022 Target: 120 men and women aged 30~69 who are trying to reduce salt intake Format: CLT survey, multiple responses allowed. Press release regarding the results of this research (Monday, April 11, 2022) https://www.kirinholdings.com/jp/newsroom/release/2022/0411_01.html
Product Overview, Sales Method and Developer’s Comments 
Product
Product nameElectric Salt Spoon
DimensionsApprox. W250 x D38 x H25 (mm)
WeightApprox. 60g (excluding batteries)
Power Supply3V lithium battery (CR2)
Price19,800 yen (tax included)
FeaturesA weak electric current is passed from the tip of the spoon to the food to enhance the taste of the meal*, including salty and umami taste. We have improved the technology so that the spoon can be used naturally at the dining table and designed the device with a focus on ease of use and durability. * There are individual differences in experience. Also, the feeling may vary depending on the dish.
How to useTurn the power on with the switch on the handle of the spoon, select the desired intensity (4 levels), and use the spoon as you would a regular spoon.
Detailshttps://electricsalt.shop.kirin.co.jp/electricsalt-spoon/product/ES-S001/ * There are certain conditions under which this product may not be used (e.g. minors and persons fitted with a pacemaker or other medical electrical device). Please check the “Safety Precautions” on the official online store or on the product box.
RecommendationIt can be used with soups with lots of ingredients, curry, fried rice, food in a bowl, ramen noodles, and other meals in general.
 
Sales Method
1. Official Online Store (https://electricsalt.shop.kirin.co.jp/)
Initial sales volume200 units (planned) * Please apply from the product purchase page on the official online store. * If the number of applications exceeds the number of units to be sold, sales will be conducted by lottery.
Application PeriodMonday, May 20, 2024 – Sunday, June 2, 2024 * In case of lottery sales, all applicants will be notified on Thursday, June 6.
Shipping ScheduleMid-June 2024 * Sales are scheduled to continue after June. We will announce it on the official Electric Salt online store in due course.
2. Hands Inc
Start of salesJune 2024 (Planned)
* For more information, please refer to the website/ press release of Hands Inc.
(URL: https://shinjuku.hands.net/item/7f/7f-14.html)
Developer’s Comments
Ai SATO Health Science Business Division, New Business Group
People trying to reduce salt intake often stated, “I understand the importance of reducing salt intake, but it is too hard for me to continue.” This prompted us to start research and development of Electric Salt in 2019, which finally led to the marketing of the product after more than 5 years. I hope people who have difficulty starting or continuing salt reduction will use Electric Salt as a tool to enjoy a wide range of meals and enrich their dietary life.

Future development of “Electric Salt
Kirin will continue to propose the development of tableware other than spoons and low-sodium food menus, and we will work with companies and local governments to expand the use of Electric Salt and its market. Electric Salt aims to provide services that enable consumers to enjoy eating healthy, delicious, and enjoyable foods and to realize a healthy and happy society.

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