How a Whiff of Wasabi Can Save Lives


Guest post by Monique Jessen originally published on Tonic.

With its pungent aroma and fiery flavor, wasabi is most commonly known as a condiment for sushi. But now it has a more important role, as a potential life saver in smoke alarms for the deaf. With the loud ringing of normal fire alarms proving futile for most deaf people, one Japanese company decided to cater to the hard-of-hearing by using the strong, horseradish-like smell of wasabi, reports the BBC. It's simple enough -- when the machine detects smoke, it ejects a spray of wasabi odor so strong that even those in a heavy slumber will soon be up and out of the door in no time at all.Following a two-year development, the alarms were developed by Kobe-based fire extinguisher company Air Water Safety Services, reports Britain's Telegraph. With the help of Seems, a bioventure company in Tokyo, the device was distributed to nursing and elderly homes and it's hoped that the gadget will also be used in loud music venues such as nightclubs and karaoke bars.

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