It's a common problem for cancer patients: Chemotherapy changes the taste buds so that using metal silverware suddenly causes a bitter metallic aftertaste. Plastic cutlery is one alternative, but it's not exactly the most environmentally friendly, elegant, or cost-effective option. TruFlavorWare claims that it has another option—silverware made out of a non-metallic, proprietary material that is designed to mimic the weight and feel of metal forks, knives, and spoons.
TruFlavorWare is supposedly tasteless to chemotherapy patients (and everybody else). "It was a revelation to me when I realized that everyday eating utensils actually
interfere with what we taste," said TruFlavorWare inventor Don Ladanyi, in a statement."I knew
how unpleasant it was trying to eat when all you can taste is metal or plastic,
so I wanted to find a better solution. I wanted to create something that would
allow a strawberry fruit salad to taste like a pure strawberry fruit salad, not
some harsh metallic version of a fruit salad." The organic, BPA-free flatware won't break the bank, either. A four-piece set (with case) retails for $19.95.
TruFlavorWare probably isn't available in a kitchen supply store near you, but that may soon change. Ladanyi just won ProtoLabs' first Cool Idea! Award, which means that he will score free prototyping and short-run production services from the machine and injection molding parts company.
There are other options for chemo patients; reusable plastic flatware, for example, could work just as well. But Ladanyi has the right idea. This is an under-served market, and one that will undoubtedly be relieved to find an alternative to foul-tasting food.