At last a machine with good taste -- for espresso

February 11, 2008

Can a machine taste coffee? The question has plagued scientists studying the caffeinated beverage for decades. Fortunately, researchers in Switzerland can now answer with a resounding “yes.” The study on their coffee-tasting machine is scheduled for the March 1 issue of ACS’ Analytical Chemistry.

For the food industry, “electronic tasters” like these could prove useful as quality control devices to monitor food production and processing.

Christian Lindinger and colleagues at Nestlé Research pointed out that coffee scientists have long been searching for instrumental approaches to complement and eventually replace human sensory profiling. However, the multisensory experience from drinking a cup of coffee makes it a particular challenge for flavor scientists trying to replicate these sensations on a machine. More than 1,000 substances may contribute to the complex aroma of coffee.

The new tasting machine assessed the taste and aromatic qualities of espresso coffee nearly as accurately as a panel of trained human espresso tasters, the study reported. It analyzed gases released by a heated espresso sample, then transformed the most pertinent chemical information into taste qualities like roasted, flowery, woody, toffee and acidity. “This work represents significant progress in terms of correlation of sensory with instrumental results exemplified on coffee,” state the authors.

Source: ACS

Explore further: The best laptops of 2018

Related Stories

The best laptops of 2018

December 14, 2018

In almost every dorm room, library, coffee shop, office and airport around the world, you will find someone with their head buried in a laptop.

Brewing a great cup of coffee depends on chemistry and physics

September 27, 2017

Coffee is unique among artisanal beverages in that the brewer plays a significant role in its quality at the point of consumption. In contrast, drinkers buy draft beer and wine as finished products; their only consumer-controlled ...

The science behind the perfect coffee

June 5, 2014

(Phys.org) —A chemist at the University of Bath has teamed up with the UK Barista Champion to find the best type of water for making coffee. The pair are heading to the World Barista Championships in Italy on 8 June to ...

Recommended for you

Saturn hasn't always had rings

January 17, 2019

One of the last acts of NASA's Cassini spacecraft before its death plunge into Saturn's hydrogen and helium atmosphere was to coast between the planet and its rings and let them tug it around, essentially acting as a gravity ...

New thermoelectric material delivers record performance

January 17, 2019

Taking advantage of recent advances in using theoretical calculations to predict the properties of new materials, researchers reported Thursday the discovery of a new class of half-Heusler thermoelectric compounds, including ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.