The ‘electronic tongue’ may have a commercial use and could eventually replace the teams of experts needed in each bodega.
Spanish scientists have developed an “electronic tongue” that promises to rival the work of the traditional sommelier and identify different grades of the Spanish sparkling wine, cava. The electronic device has been developed by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) and uses electronic sensory systems with “advanced mathematical procedures” to analyse different varieties of the Catalan alternative to champagne according to taste.
The team of scientists in Spain aimed to replicate the human tongue to obtain classification of the sweetness of the wine by measuring the sugar levels within it. In that way it can accurately detect defects in the production process and act as quality control measure.
The “robotic sommelier”, as it has been dubbed, can already determine the difference between Brut, Brut Nature, and medium dry varieties, and could in the future be “trained” for wider applications.
“It’s a complex training system. You need to show it samples – teach it like you would a child, and once trained, it tells you what a new sample looks like or resembles. Then it can be trained for almost any situation,” explained Manel (CORR MANEL) del Valle, the lead researcher on the team.
He believes it has a commercial use and could eventually replace the teams of experts needed in each bodega.