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Landscapes of Taste by a Novel Electronic Tongue for the Analysis of Complex Mixtures

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We have recently developed a novel approach which greatly simplified the design and production of sensing materials for the construction of electronic tongues (eT) by mixing a handful of building blocks (BBs) and allowing the mixtures to self-assemble. This approach has two major advantages: it allows a rapid growth in diversity of the sensing receptors and offers more reliable analysis thanks to its "auto-corrective" behavior. Using only two small molecules, lactose and sulfated lactose, as BBs, an array of combinatorial cross-reactive receptors (CoCRRs) was prepared and combined with an optical detection system, surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi). In this study, the system was used to analyze challenging protein-rich complex samples such as milk. The eT was sensitive and responded differently to tested milk samples that were either animal-based or plant-based. It was able to differentiate and identify them thanks to their continuous recognition patterns and in particular the 3D continuous evolution landscapes. Principal component analysis was performed based on both 2D continuous evolution profiles and 3D continuous evolution landscapes of these samples. A better discrimination and classification was obtained with the 3D landscapes. These results have demonstrated the feasibility of the eT for analysis of protein-rich complex samples and its potential for applications in food and beverage domains. Moreover, we strongly believe that this new approach is promising for the design of cheaper and more reliable electronic noses/tongues.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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