An "electronic tongue" that can digitally measure the taste of sweetness has been created by scientists.
Under the leadership of Kenneth Suslick, a chemistry professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the revolutionary device, which makes use of a postage stamp-size piece of paper dotted with colored pigments, has been developed.
The study has appeared August 1 in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
"E-tongue" can identify with 100 percent accuracy the full sweep of natural and artificial sweet substances, including 14 common sweeteners, using easy-to-read color markers, reports National Geographic News.
Suslick's team spent a decade developing colorimetric sensor arrays (PDF), where chemicals in each of the 16 to 36 micro dye spots reacted with sweet substances to produce color changes.
The colors tell not just which types of sweeteners are present, but also how much there is.