Effects of shape and operation of chopsticks on food-serving performance

Appl Ergon. 1998 Aug;29(4):233-8. doi: 10.1016/s0003-6870(97)00046-x.


The study evaluated the effects of six chopsticks designs on the food-serving performance of three tasks (food-pulling, food-pinching, and food-moving) under two different operations (pincers-pinching and scissors-pinching). A total of 40 male junior college students were employed as subjects for the laboratory experiment. Subjects who were experienced in pincers-pinching were superior in pinching precision and stability to those experienced in scissors-pinching. Nevertheless, the scissors-pinching group gave a more powerful pinching force while pulling the experimental food. Chopsticks with rounded handle and carved grooves on the tip were preferred in all the six experimental pairs. The research suggests that, in general, the pincers-pinching operation is recommended for daily food-serving and teaching children primary use of chopsticks. Therefore, chopsticks with rounded handle and carved grooves on the tip are suggested for family utensils (non-disposable chopsticks). Considering the cost and cleaning, chopsticks with rounded handle and square tip are recommended for general dining. However, the square handle and rounded tip chopsticks are the type most commonly used in Taiwan.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cooking and Eating Utensils*
  • Equipment Design
  • Ergonomics
  • Food Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Taiwan