Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

"Electronic Tongue" Measures Food Flavors and Water Chemistry

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

"Electronic Tongue" Measures Food Flavors and Water Chemistry

Article excerpt

Using chemical sensors, University of Texas at Austin (UT) researchers have designed an electronic tongue that has the potential to distinguish between a dazzling array of subtle flavors. The electronic tongue assesses combinations of the four elements of taste: sweet, sour, salt, and bitter. In some ways, the electronic tongue has even outdone "Mother Nature"--it also can analyze the chemical composition of a substance. Although the researchers anticipate that the man-made tongue will largely be used to test food and beverage products, it also can diagnose the toxic chemicals in water supplies or the amount of wastewater present.

Collaborating on the research are Dean Neikirk of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and John McDevitt, Eric Anslyn, and Jason Shear of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

The electronic tongue uses several different chemical sensors. These are attached to minute beads and placed on micro-machined wells in a silicon wafer. The wells mimic the many cavities of the human tongue, which hold chemical receptors known as taste buds. Each bead has a sensor that responds to a specific chemical by changing color. One sensor may turn yellow in response to high acidity and purple under base conditions. The researchers read the sensor results through an attached camera-on-a-chip connected to a computer. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.