Electronic tongue tastes wine variety, vintage

Aug 04, 2008

You don't need a wine expert to identify a '74 Pinot Noir from Burgundy – a handheld "electronic tongue" devised by European scientists will tell you the grape variety and vintage at the press of a button.

Designed for quality control in the field, the device is made up of six sensors which detect substances characteristic of a certain wine variety. Components such as acid, sugar and alcohol can be measured by this detection, and from these parameters it can determine the age and variety of the wine.

The tongue was invented by Cecilia Jiménez-Jorquera and colleagues from the Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics, Spain, and is reported in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal The Analyst.

Wine industry specialists told the researchers they lacked a fast way to assess quality of wines – it takes a long time to send samples to a central laboratory for processing.

This new tongue is not only swift, but also portable, cheap to manufacture, and can be trained to "taste" new varieties as required.

Jiménez-Jorquera says "the device could be used to detect frauds committed regarding the vintage year of the wine, or the grape varieties used."

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry

Explore further: Liquid helium offers a fascinating new way to make charged molecules

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Quantifying sensory data

Apr 02, 2014

Bite into a juicy pear or a spicy hot pepper, and thousands of electrical impulses race to your brain. Taste buds pick up signals for basic taste qualities like sweet and sour, and your tongue also senses ...

Scientists discover protein receptor for carbonation taste

Oct 15, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In 1767, chemist Joseph Priestley stood in his laboratory one day with an idea to help English mariners stay healthy on long ocean voyages. He infused water with carbon dioxide to create an effervescent ...

Recommended for you

Amino acids key to new gold leaching process

Oct 24, 2014

Curtin University scientists have developed a gold and copper extraction process using an amino acid–hydrogen peroxide system, which could provide an environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative to ...

Researchers create designer 'barrel' proteins

Oct 23, 2014

Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

DGBEACH
not rated yet Aug 04, 2008
Maybe now we'll know what that "special sauce" is in a BigMac! :)