An artificial tongue able to detect subtle differences in the taste of whiskey could keep counterfeiters at bay.
Created by a team from the University of Glasgow, the artificial tongue is made up of a checkerboard pattern of two different types of nanoscale metal tastebuds, alternating in gold and aluminum. When a whiskey sample is placed on the device, the plasmonic resonance of the metals alters in a way that can be detected by observing the change in the way the ‘tastebuds’ absorb light. In tests, the artificial tongue was able to detect differences in whiskey samples with a 99 percent accuracy.
Because the artificial tongue can taste any liquid, the team believes it could be used in food safety and quality control testing as well.