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Brief Published: 16 Jun 2015

Robotic Beer Tongue

The robotic tongue can identify four different types of beer

A group of scientists from The University of Valladolid in Spain have created a robotic beer tongue that can identify four different varieties of beer.

The tongue, which is roughly the same size as two iPhones, uses screen-printed sensors to 'taste' the electrochemical compounds present in beer, such as polyphenols, to identify the specific variety. The device could help improve quality control in the food and beverage industry by measuring flavour and ingredient consistency.

As explored in Intelligent Food, technology is increasingly being used to measure and control food standards. Scientists in Thailand recently developed a robotic tasting machine that is able to measure the authenticity of Thai ingredients.

Technology is also helping to improve the accuracy of food labelling, such as New York designer Sam Slover's web app Sage. Users sign up and enter their sex, height, weight and activity levels before the system creates its own nutritional food labels based on their data – see Smart Food Label App. For more on smart food-labelling initiatives, see New Directions in Food Labelling.