Usually I associate good pictures with good food. When I walk into a Mcdonald’s restaurant, the poster of the new McRib with sizziling meat and fresh vegetables gets my mouth salivating. And usually the positive expectations of my food makes it taste better. At least that’s the only thing I notice that has an effect on the taste of my food.
The McRib burger. Source: Wikimedia commons
It has never crossed my mind that sound can have an impact on taste. Well now there is a new study showing that high frequency sounds can lead us to believe that food tastes better. A blogger from the website theguardian.com explains that when we hear high frequency sounds while we’re eating, we associate that with sweetness. In contrast, when we hear low frequency sounds, our food tastes worse because we associate it with bitterness.
How did they figure this out?
In the study, subjects were asked to rate the taste of a food from sweet to bitter where one half was exposed to high frequency sounds and the other to low frequency sounds. The group exposed to low frequency sounds rated their food as more bitter. Surprisingly, this test has worked on various food items from toffee to coffee.
Frequency of Sound
Humans hear sound in the range of 20 to 20000Hz. Low frequencies range from 30 to 500Hz and high frequencies tend to be greater than 500Hz. Here’s a video illustrating the frequency spectrum.
Video Courtesy of the user: adminofthissite
These results are remarkable and can have a large impact on restaurants. If sound has a such a large impact on how we perceive the taste of food, then store owners should place a stronger emphasis on the kinds of music they play. Since high frequency sounds affect how sweet our food tastes, then perhaps we won’t need put as much sugar in our food. Sounds good to me!
Have you ever considered that your hands could be a source to produce electricity? With materials called Peltier tiles, you can actually create products that are powered by the energy from your hand. Peltier tiles rely on the thermoelectric effect. When one side of a material is hotter than the other, the temperature difference can be used to generate a voltage. With a temperature gradient produced, charge flows from the hot to the cold side.
The Peltier effect. Source: Wikimedia commons
Remarkably, Ann Makosinski from Victoria was able to use Peltier tiles to create a hand powered flashlight. In her design, she used a hollow aluminum tube and embedded Peltier tiles into the material as the base of her flashlight. She created a temperature difference by heating the outside of the material with the palm of her hand and cool the inside of the tube with an internal air system. Her flashlight was able to turn on in the absence of light just by placing her hand over the flashlight.
A flashlight courtesy of Mrmariokartguy from Wikimedia Commons
The importance of this technology is significant. We don’t always have a set of batteries lying around and in the event of an emergency, a hand powered flashlight would be extremely useful. Here is a video from Ann Makowsinski describing her flashlight:
Video courtesy from the user: Queenie Andini
Pacemakers are now using this technology. A chip is inserted into the body that requires a 2 degree difference in temperature difference to run. Dinesh Bhatia and her colleagues from the Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences have found that areas just under the skin can cause a temperature difference by 5 degrees Celsius. With the use of the thermoelectric effect, we won’t have to perform surgeries just to replace the batteries of a pacemaker.
The problem with this technology is that it may not be able to generate a lot of electricity. If we could find a way to overcome this, it would be a revolutionary change to the products we can produce.
Most guys who go to the gym are familiar with diet supplementation. Protein shakes and weight gainers are all commonly used for building muscle mass after completing a rigorous workout.
One of the supplements that caught my attention is creatine. Creatine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in our body. It can found be found in our muscles and gives us an extra boost when we run out of energy. However, I often hear people talk about creatine as if consuming it alone will build muscle mass. Here are 3 key points you need to know before buying this product.
1. Creatine is a supplement, not a human growth hormone
Consuming large amounts of creatine will not turn you into the hulk. The purpose of using it is to increase the amount of energy you have at the end of a workout. According to an article from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, creatine supplementation helps increase Phosphocreatine resynthesis for maximum energy output in your last few contractions of an exercise. This in turn helps you gain muscle mass because you are able in increase your workload. If you don’t have a high-intensity workout then there is no reason why you should be using creatine.
2. Prolonged intake of creatine at high doses is unnecessary
Hultman et al. from the American Journal of Physiology performed a study to monitor the levels of Creatine in male subjects after supplementation. They showed that after consuming 20g of creatine a day for 6 days, only 2g a day was needed to maintain high levels in their body for the next 30 days. Individuals don’t need to consume large amounts of creatine everyday and this means more money can be saved.
3. More creatine, more water
Creatine takes up water from your bloodstream and moves into your muscles. Without enough water in our bodies, dehydration can result and cause liver damage. Souza et. al from the Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods Journal conducted a study to test the effects of creatine on rat liver. They found high levels of hepatic biomarkers which suggests an increase in liver activity. It is important to consume large amounts of water when using creatine as a supplement to avoid liver problems.
For information on creatine supplementation, here’s a video from fitness expert Tim Muriello
Blog post by Raymond Quan