Representative image
Representative image

New electric tongue can help in taste testing spicy foods

ANI | Updated: May 11, 2019 21:54 IST

Washington DC [USA], May 11 (ANI): Researchers discovered that an electronic tongue, or e-tongue, is more effective and accurate in taste-testing spicy foods than sensitive human taste buds.
According to the study published in the Journal of Food Science, the e-tongue is very accurate at telling the difference of spiciness between samples of the same food.
Thousands of new spicy products hit supermarket shelves every year. Some people crave the heat, some fear the burn. But if you enjoy it, spicy food wears out taste buds quickly.
This can be a problem for people who make and sell spicy food.
"At low concentrations, or low spiciness, it's hard to discriminate between two samples. It's also hard to tell a difference between two samples at high concentrations," said one of the researchers, Courtney Schlossareck.
The e-tongue's ability to differentiate between the spiciness of foods could come in handy for the industry.
"Spicy cheese is really popular. So helping cheese-makers dial in the optimum level of spiciness would be even more helpful," Schlossareck said.
Another problem with testing spicy foods is that people can only test a few samples before their taste buds give out. After a few bites, taste buds can't distinguish differences in taste at all. But the e-tongue can handle as much heat as any scientist can throw at it and maintain accuracy.
"This would allow testers to narrow a selection down to two or three samples for a human tasting panel if they start from 20 different formulations. That would take days to do with people tasting them," explained Schlossareck.
That's because real people need to wait at least five minutes between samples. And even then, only a few samples can be tested because the spiciness lingers and can throw off results. (ANI)