Electronic noses and tongues

Tuesday, 09 June, 2009 | Supplied by: Bio-Strategy Pty Ltd

Electronic noses and tongues have been developed for taste and odour sensory analysis in both quality control and product development applications. They have particular application in the food, beverage, flavour, fragrance and packaging sectors. As with human assessment, the instruments use comparative analysis of odour or taste fingerprints. The instruments are ‘trained’ to learn tastes and odours by analysis of samples verified by human taste or odour sensory panels and once trained are able to identify presented samples routinely.

The working principle of electronic nose and tongue instruments includes three main steps: sample collection, odour/taste detection and data treatment.

The specificity of the instruments is the data treatment software developed by Alpha MOS. Based on multi-variate mathematical treatment, results are mapped on 2D graphs. The models available meet qualitative analysis (comparison of odours/tastes) as well as quantitative studies.

Alpha MOS offers E-Noses with three different detection methods: metal oxide sensors, mass spectrometry and ultra fast gas chromatography. The E-Tongue is based on liquid sensors and measures a potentiometric variation between each sensor and the reference electrode.

Electronic nose and tongue systems can be trained based on sensory panel results or chromatography analysis. After a training stage, they can be used as a substitute to human sensory panels. The major advantages include: rapidity of analysis; 24/7 availability; easy to use; minimal sample preparation; objective results; flexibility; and high sensitivity with detection thresholds as good as or even better than human ones.

Typical tests carried out include: competitive products benchmarking; odour/taste stability studies over time; new flavour selection; additive influence on taste/odour; process monitoring based on taste or odour; packaging interactions analysis; origin and organoleptic features checking (raw materials, manufactured products); bitterness measurement of medicines; taste masking studies; and taste evolution follow-up during dissolution.

Online: www.bio-strategy.com
Phone: +61 1800 008 453
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