Taiwan researchers create 'world's first' pocket sanitiser for chopsticks

Taiwanese R&D company ITRI has developed a chopstick sanitiser which they say kills 99.99 per cent of germs using ultraviolet light emitting diodes.
Taiwanese R&D company ITRI has developed a chopstick sanitiser which they say kills 99.99 per cent of germs using ultraviolet light emitting diodes.PHOTO: ITRI

Do you often wonder about the cleanliness of chopsticks provided at food centres yet scoff at environment-damaging disposable ones? Taiwanese researchers have just the thing for you: a portable chopstick sanitiser.

The Pocket Chopstick Sanitiser kills 99.99 per cent of E.coli and other germs in just 90 seconds using deep ultraviolet light emitting diodes, media reports said on Thursday (May 26), citing the government-funded  Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

The "environment-friendly" gadget is some 12cm long, weighs just 95g and leaves no chemical residue, ITRI said in a press release according to the reports. It is the first such gadget in the world, the institute claimed.

"Chopsticks that are not completely cleaned and stored in a proper environment or are used past their expiration date can easily become a hotbed of bacterial growth," ITRI was quoted as saying by Central News Agency .

"Mold, E.coli, and staphylococcus aureus can be ingested through the use of contaminated chopsticks, presenting a threat to one's health," ITRI said.

Not only does the sanitiser disinfect chopsticks with a patented ultraviolet LED light module that can perform 360-degree cleaning, it also comes equipped with sensors for safety, as well as detachable parts for easy cleaning, Taiwan-based digital newspaper Digitimes reported.

The gadget, ITRI added, can be easily carried around by office workers, students and other people who dine out frequently.

The Pocket Chopstick Sanitiser won the Best Choice Award at this year’s Computex, an annual computer expo held in Taipei, and will be unveiled at the fair on May 31.