These sensors give a response to different detected chemicals and this information is then passed to various processing algorithms that analyse and process the resulting data.
In the study beer was chosen to be tested because this alcoholic drink is widely used around the world. The study was lead by scientists from Autonomous University of Barcelona. They chose several varieties of beer and recorded the multidimensional response generated by 21 ion-selective electrodes sensors.
Main author of the study Manel del Valle detailed: "Using more powerful tools – supervised learning – and linear discriminant analysis did enable us to distinguish between the main categories of beer we studied: Schwarzbier, lager, double malt, Pilsen, Alsatian and low-alcohol". During the study the scientists managed to get a success rate of 81.9%. An electronic tongue can have multiple applications: from robots that can "taste" food/drinks to help the industry improve the quality of certain products to adding the sense of "taste" to futuristic robots.