Researchers develop ‘Electronic Tongue’

Researchers develop ‘Electronic Tongue’

Recently, an 'electronic tongue' has been developed by researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. The tongue has the ability to differentiate between different types of beer. The new device employs a generic range of sensors.

The new discovery is nearly 82% accurate and can provide robots with an ability to taste in future.

Lead author from Autonomous University of Barcelona, Manel del Valle says the method has proved to be helpful in distinguishing types of beer like Schwarzbier, lager, double malt, Pilsen, Alsatian and low-alcohol.

As many as 21 ion-selective electrodes are used in the above device. Some of these electrodes responds to cations (ammonium, sodium), others acts in response to anions (nitrate, chloride) and some were generic
(unspecified) to the above varieties of beer. The experiment illustrated the varieties of beer to which tongue is programmed to identify and to which is not.

Researchers then studied the response of sensors to various varieties of beer. They concluded that the device did not recognize those varieties to which it was not programmed. As reported, "In view of the ordering of the varieties, which followed their declared alcohol content, the scientists estimated this content with a numerical model developed with an artificial neural network".

There are varieties of drinks, like beer/soft drink mixes or foreign makes, to which the tongue is not trained to identify, said the team. It added that tongue requires more training to identify these drinks.

The team thinks that the new technology could prove helpful in improving the quality and consistency of the food industry as it could provide sense of taste to robots.