Electric Tongue has a lot of taste

by Mark R

sweetSure, we have a cameras for recording sight and sound, but how in the world can we record how something tastes? It would appear that researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have constructed an electric tongue sensor.

As you can see, it changes colors depending on the type and quantity of sweeteners that are in the food itself. This sensor is about the size of a business card, and can be dipped in for a colorful readout. I suppose that will be an excellent tool for diabetics, who need to constantly check their glucose levels.

In other words, we are probably far along from electric tongues that can detect exactly how everything tastes. The possibility of that is pretty powerful. Maybe we can shut those wine-y guys up who think they know all the ingredients of their wine with one sip. That, and it could be a way to test our food to make certain that it is not poisoned.

I wonder if the inspiration for this came from Ratatouille. Remember the scene where the rat eats food, and we see it interpreted as shimmering lights? I tell you, that scene always makes me hungry, and that’s probably the best interpretation of the sense of taste on the “sight and sound” screen.

As of now, the U of Illinois electric tongue was merely on display at the American Chemical Society’s 238 National Meeting, and I think we are long way from a prototype.

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