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Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)

Development of a portable taste sensor with a lipid/polymer membrane.


PMID 23325168

Abstract

We have developed a new portable taste sensor with a lipid/polymer membrane and conducted experiments to evaluate the sensor's performance. The fabricated sensor consists of a taste sensor chip (40 mm × 26 mm × 2.2 mm) with working and reference electrodes and a portable sensor device (80 mm × 25 mm × 20 mm). The working electrode consists of a taste-sensing site comprising a poly(hydroxyethyl)methacrylate (pHEMA) hydrogel layer with KCl as the electrolyte layer and a lipid/polymer membrane as the taste sensing element. The reference electrode comprises a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membrane layer with a small hole and a pHEMA layer with KCl. The whole device is the size of a USB memory stick, making it suitable for portable use. The sensor's response to tannic acid as the standard astringency substance showed good accuracy and reproducibility, and was comparable with the performance of a commercially available taste sensing system. Thus, it is possible for this sensor to be used for in-field evaluations and it can make a significant contribution to the food industry, as well as in various fields of research.

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