Multisensor systems (e-tongues)
The increasing demand of quality control thought all the chain of the food industry requires the development of innovative analytical systems. For that reason the use of multisensor systems that could be portable and provide rapid analysis is especially hopeful. The multisensor system developed by the GTQ group is able to classify samples according to their chemical composition, quality or presence of some adulterant. This system is known as hybrid electronic tongue (h-ET) because combines several types of microsensors (Ion-selective field effect transistors (ISFETs) and thin film microelectrodes for amperometric, ORP and conductimetric measurements) and a colorimetric optofluidic system. These sensors combined with multivariate analysis and pattern recognition tools are used as “Electronic Tongues” for classification and chemical analysis.
Multisensor systems can be applied to many different fields: clinical diagnostic, environmental monitoring, agrofood analysis, industrial processes control and pharmaceutical analysis.. However, the main work carried out with this h-ET has been on wines and grape juices. This ET is able to classify red and white wines according to the grape variety, the geographical origin and even the year of harvesting. It is also able to perform quantitative analysis of specific chemical and optical parameters of interest for the wine industry.
The h-ET can be also applied to other foods like precooked dishes, broth, beverages. Besides it is a useful tool for waters, mainly drinking waters, able to test the water quality and the organoleptic characteristics.
Picture of the different microsensor’s chips used for the h-ET and the PCB
with encapsulated chips (left) and optofluidic system (right)