Artificial Tongue

Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 6:00pm

The tongue can be a powerful tool, but also a highly subjective one. Dr. Dean Neikirk developed what amounts to an artificial tongue. When food companies want to create the same flavor every time, they turn to Neikirk's electronic tongue to analyze liquids and pick out their exact chemical make-up. Neikirk's tongue uses microspheres, tiny sensors that change color when exposed to a specific targets, such as certain kinds of sugars. The result is a system that can't replace the person who says, This tastes good! but can make sure the chemistry of good taste is reliably replicated.