Trick Your Brain With A Cup That Adds Flavor To Your WaterBy John Davis - September 1, 2016
Smart water bottles are the new norm. There are bottles that can fill themselves up, bottles that can play music, and now, bottles that make water taste better. After all, water, in all its glory, is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. No wonder kids, and even some adults, prefer flavored juice drinks and sodas. But what if you could add flavor to ordinary water minus the bad stuff found in sodas? Would you?
A New York startup has created The Right Cup—a cup that adds sweet, fruity flavor to your water. Magic? No. It’s science coupled with a little bit of trickery.
The Science behind the Taste
So how does the Right Cup add flavor to water? The cup is made of 3 parts. The first part, the ring, touches your lips. The ring is made of plastic infused with a sweet taste, so when you sip from the cup, water “tastes” sweet. In reality, you’re tasting plastic. The second part is the inner cup, made of plastic with a strong aroma. The third part is the outer cup which holds the inner cup, nothing more.
To understand how making plastic sweet and aromatic gives taste to water, we must first understand how we perceive flavors. Our tongue, the main sensory organ for taste, can only perceive 5 tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory. The flavors as we know it come from our sense of smell. Our nose affects our sense of taste so much so that when we lose our sense of smell, we also lose our sense of taste. In contrary, if a food is aromatic, we are more likely to taste its real flavor.
Right Cup applies the same concept. The ring of the cup gives you nothing but a sweet flavor. However, the aroma tricks your brain into thinking that the taste is something else. For example, if the inner cup smells like orange, your brain will think the sweet taste is orange flavored. To reinforce this trickery, the cups match the color they represent – orange is orange. Apparently, color can affect our perception of taste as well, who knew?
Right Cup comes in 5 flavors—Apple (Green), Orange, Mixed Berry, Peach, and Cola (designed for drinking fizzy water). A cup’s flavor and aroma can last for around 6 months. It starts losing aroma once opened, but you can make it last longer by keeping the cup upside down when not in use and by avoiding washing it in your dishwasher.
Is It Safe?
A cup that makes your water taste like fruits sounds a little creepy at first, especially when you realize your tasting plastic. But the creators of Right Cup assure us it’s safe. First of all, the cup is made of BPA-free plastic. Second, the aroma and flavor are not just coated onto the plastic; they are infused. Right Cup developed a proprietary technique to insert the chemicals needed for the flavor and aroma to the plastic without affecting its composition. Since the chemicals are IN the plastic itself and not ON it, the chemicals are less likely to transfer into the water. Finally, all chemicals used are FDA approved. That said, chemicals are chemicals are chemicals.
How Much Is Right Cup?
You can pre-order Right Cup individually or by sets. If you order right now, you can get one for as low as $29. 5 cups cost $115. And 10 cups cost $225. The expected retail price is about $45 for each cup. Shipping has been pushed back several times already. Their current expected shipping date is September 2016.
Would I buy it? No. There is no way that I’m buying into the fact that chemical infused plastic is good for me. I’ll just swing by the grocery store and buy an orange. In fact, for the price of one cup, I could buy 40 oranges.
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