Slurp no more: Japanese invent a fork that masks noodle-sucking noise | more lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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Slurp no more: Japanese invent a fork that masks noodle-sucking noise

A Japanese company has devised a special fork that masks the slurping sounds made by the noodle eater.

more lifestyle Updated: Oct 25, 2017 16:44 IST
Agence France-Presse
Japan,Slurping noodles,Japanese fork to drown noise
It is a tradition in Japan to noisily slurp down noodles to show appreciation for the food. But foreign visitors are often bothered by the noise. (AFP)

A Japanese firm has created what it claims is a world-first “noise-cancelling” fork to mask the sound made by slurping down noodles, dubbed “noodle harassment” on social media.

Foreign visitors to Japanese noodle bars are often startled to hear the locals -- normally so polite and restrained -- noisily slurping down their noodles with lip-smacking gusto.

The tradition is supposed to show the diner’s appreciation for the food but some people are becoming bothered by the noise. Now an instant noodle producer claims to have found a solution to the problem.

Inspired by Japanese toilets, which can be programmed to play an artificial flushing noise to cover embarrassing sounds, Nissin Food Products looked at creating something similar for noodles.

When the slurp alert is triggered, the fork sends a signal to the user’s mobile phone, which plays the soothing sound of flowing water to mask the offending noise.

The result was a giant fork -- 4.4 centimetres (1.73 inches) wide and 15.2 centimetres long -- with a sensitive microphone to detect offending slurps.

“We developed a system in which any subtle slurping sound can be detected,” said the company.

When the slurp alert is triggered, the fork, called OTOHIKO, sends a signal to the user’s mobile phone, which plays the soothing sound of flowing water to mask the offending noise.

Nissin will however only sell the gadget if it receives 5,000 pre-orders by mid-December -- at the price of 14,800 yen (Rs 8, 450 approx).

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 16:40 IST