Electronic 'tongue' to ensure food quality

November 12, 2014

An electronic "tongue" could one day sample food and drinks as a quality check before they hit store shelves. Or it could someday monitor water for pollutants or test blood for signs of disease. With an eye toward these applications, scientists are reporting the development of a new, inexpensive and highly sensitive version of such a device in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

S. V. Litvinenko and colleagues explain that an electronic tongue is an analytical instrument that mimics how people and other mammals distinguish tastes. Tiny sensors detect substances in a sample and send signals to a computer for processing just as taste buds sense and transmit flavor messages to the brain. The food and beverage industry and others have started deploying electronic tongues for a range of purposes from authenticating Thai food to measuring beer quality. But existing devices are limited in how they can be used. Litvinenko's team decided to make an improved instrument that could have applications in medical diagnostics, pharmaceutical testing and environmental monitoring, as well as food testing.

The researchers developed a low-cost and environmentally friendly "e-tongue" with a silicon base that could be easily incorporated into existing electronic systems of the same material. When they tested it with Armagnac, cognac, whiskey and water, they were able to establish precise signatures for each. They conclude that their work serves as a first step toward a novel tasting instrument with potentially diverse applications.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from Lyon Science Transfert.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: TwitterFacebook

American Chemical Society

Related Environmentally Friendly Articles from Brightsurf:

Environmentally friendly method could lower costs to recycle lithium-ion batteries
A new process for restoring spent cathodes to mint condition could make it more economical to recycle lithium-ion batteries.

Tel Aviv University says 'environmentally-friendly' tableware harms marine animals
A new Tel Aviv University study compares the effects of two types of disposable dishes on the marine environment -- regular plastic disposable dishes and more expensive bioplastic disposable dishes certified by various international organizations -- and determines that the bioplastic dishes had a similar effect on marine animals as regular plastic dishes.

New findings pave the way to environmentally friendly supercapacitors
Similar to batteries, supercapacitors are suitable for the repeated storage of electrical energy.

Scientists have discovered an environmentally friendly way to transform silicon into nanoparticles
Scientists have developed a new method of silicon recycling. The majority of solar panels that are produced in ever-increasing quantities use silicon.

Nutrients in microalgae: An environmentally friendly alternative to fish
Microalgae could provide an alternative source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids for humans while also being more environmentally friendly to produce than popular fish species.

Removing toxic chemicals from water -- New environmentally-friendly method
Researchers from Swansea University have developed a new environmentally friendly method for removing toxic chemicals from water.

Green chemistry of fullerene: Scientists invented an environmentally friendly way to realize organic
Scientists from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) and the Institute for Problems of Chemical Physics of Russian Academy of Sciences have developed a novel approach for preparing thin semiconductor fullerene films.

Environmentally friendly shipping helps to reduce freight costs
The shipping sector has potential to gain profit by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The majority consider themselves more environmentally friendly than others
Research from the University of Gothenburg shows that we tend to overestimate our personal environmental engagement.

Scientists have developed environmentally friendly way to build up road foundations
Scientists of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) and the Federal University of Technology -- ParanĂ¡/Brazil together with colleagues from Kazakhstan have proposed to build road foundations from a mixture of loam, metal slag and lime waste instead of traditional layers of natural sand and gravel.

Read More: Environmentally Friendly News and Environmentally Friendly Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.