Feeds

Boffins build electronic tongue that can distinguish between BEERS

Not American boffins, obviously

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A team of Spanish scientists have built an electronic tongue capable of telling the difference between six different styles of humanity's favorite alcoholic beverage with over 80 per cent accuracy.

Beer tongue

Seis cervezas por favor, mi amigo va a pagar.

"The concept of the electronic tongue consists in using a generic array of sensors, in other words with generic response to the various chemical compounds involved, which generate a varied spectrum of information with advanced tools for processing, pattern recognition and even artificial neural networks," said Manel del Valle, associate professor in analytical chemistry at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.

The research, published in the journal Food Chemistry, details how the team built a bundle of 21 electrodes to act as the tongue. Some are built to sense the presence of different substances in fluid, including sodium, potassium, and nitrates, while others fed back more generic information about the brew.

The electrodes could tell the boffins the base chemical signature of the beer's ingredients but couldn't tell what type of fluid it was, so the team built software to cross correlate the results to get a better match in six beer types:

"Using more powerful tools – supervised learning – and linear discriminant analysis did enable us to distinguish between the main categories of beer we studied: Schwarzbier, lager, double malt, Pilsen, Alsatian and low-alcohol, and with a success rate of 81.9 per cent," del Valle said.

The team thinks the software and hardware combination can be refined to include more beer types with additional research, and to improve the accuracy of robotic taste testing still further so that the device can be used for process control standards in the brewing industry.

You'd expect research like this to come from Germany, the Czech Republic, or even the UK, but Spain has a vibrant and mixed beer-drinking culture. Meanwhile, here in the US, over 50 per cent of the beer-drinking market is made up of Budweiser, Bud Light, and Coors Lite, which all taste the same anyway. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.