Magnetic 'Tongue' Can Taste Tomatoes
A "magnetic tongue" that uses a nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) machine has been developed, according to an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The research team wanted to find a method capable of a detailed sensory description. Therefore they chose to investigate the utility of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a tool to analyze taste without any other chemical analysis. NMR can differentiate based on the chemical composition of a sample.
Eighteen canned tomato products were analyzed by both NMR and human taste testers. The results showed that NMR metabolic fingerprints correlated well with the sensory descriptors of the tomatoes. Future research will show whether NMR can also be used for other kinds of foods and then it might just be a matter of time when food processing companies will start to use them.
In his 1943 short story Robinc, Anthony Boucher describes a cooking robot that was able to (of course!) taste the food under preparation:
Half your time in cooking is wasted reaching around for what you need next. We can build in a lot of that stuff. For instance, one [mechanical] tentacle can be a registering thermometer...
And best of all - why the nuisance of bringing food to the mouth to taste? Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle.
(Read more about Boucher's robot taste buds)
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