Maple syrup is one of the signature goods associated with Canada, being called by some as the country’s liquid gold. A team of researchers has created a new test that uses gold nanoparticles to assess the quality of the syrup. The novel method has been deemed to be a form of an artificial tongue.
It is, in fact, a colorimetric test that traces the color of the syrup to determine its taste. Results can be observed quite fast, a trait that is quite useful for produces who handle large batches.
As efficiency was an important factor for the project, he tongue is far from being as sensible as a human tongue, and it is incapable of perceiving some of the more complex flavors.
The performance of the artificial tongue was evaluated by testing 1,818 samples of maple syrup. For the evaluation, the samples represented a selection of aromatic profiles and colors that varied from gold to dark brown.
An Artificial Tongue To Test Maple Syrup Quality
One of the researchers who contributed to the project has stated that the artificial tongue was designed for the Québec Maple Syrup Producers. They wished to have an efficient tool that can take into account several properties of the syrup.
An interesting fact is represented by the molecular complexity of maple syrup, which is similar to that of wine. Professional tasters are hired during the manufacturing process to ensure that the batches can be adequately classified according to their traits.
The task may seem easy at first, but it is quite daunting, as there are more than sixty categories of taste from which the tasters can pick, and the differences between some of them are quite minimal.
The maple syrup taste can be influenced by a large number of factors, including the region where harvesting takes place, the time, weather, and others. It is thought that the artificial tongue could be adapted for other types in the future.