Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
Researchers have also been developing electronic tongues, which allows machines to taste.
(Via Emilia Witkowska Nery)
Electronic tongue systems are traditionally used to analyse: food products, water samples and taste masking technologies for pharmaceuticals. In principle, their applications are almost limitless, as they are able to almost completely reduce the impact of interferents and can be applied to distinguish samples of extreme complexity as for example broths from different stages of fermentation. Nevertheless, their applications outside the three principal sample types are, in comparison, rather scarce. In this review, we would like to take a closer look on what are real capabilities of electronic tongue systems, what can be achieved using mixed sensor arrays and by introduction of biosensors or molecularly imprinted polymers in the matrix. We will discuss future directions both in the sense of applications as well as system development in the ever-growing trend of low cost analysis.
(Via Electronic Tongue—A Tool for All Tastes?)
We have dozens of different sensors, which respond to molecules in our food. Our brain gets input from all these and combines the data to produce the taste of, say, orange juice.
Similarly, an electronic tongue combines the output from a range of sensors. “For sour things, you could have a sensor for acids to check pH,” says chemist Emilia Witkowska Nery of the Polish Academy of Sciences. “If you want salt, you'd probably have sodium, potassium, and chlorine.”
“They're taking the interdependence between signals from different sensors,” she adds, “just as our tongue.”
Except this tongue can go where ours dare not, and taste things ours cannot. You might use an electronic tongue to taste foods for harmful additives or other adulterations, for instance. “We can easily enable them to discriminate different food products,” says Nery...
Golden Age great Anthony Boucher was already thinking in this direction in the 1940's. Consider the robot taste buds from his excellent 1943 short story Robinc.
"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. tapering to a fine point - stick it in a roast.... 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)
Science fiction fans may find these articles to their taste:
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'
Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.
Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'
Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'
Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'
Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'
Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'
IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'
Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'
Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'
Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'
Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'
IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories