Electronic nose better than a human’s

15th May, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

A group of Swedish and Spanish engineers have invented an “electronic nose” capable of detecting fruit aromas more effectively than a human.

The "electronic nose"

The “electronic nose”

Using its 32 sensors, the device, which the researchers claim is more sensitive than a human nose, can currently only distinguish between the odors emitted by chopped apples and pears.

“The fruit samples are placed in a chamber into which an air flow is injected that reaches the tower with the sensors, which are metal oxide semiconductors that detect odorous compounds such as methane or butane,” said researcher José Pelegrí Sebastiá.

Software is then used to gather real time data and the information is processed through classification algorithms.

The results can be viewed on a 3D graph that distinguishes between the apple scores and the pear scores.

The study, published in the “Sensors and Actuators A” journal, is the starting point for research the team is involved in to develop multisensory systems that increase the capacity to differentiate complex mixtures of volatile substances.

Sebastiá believes the technology could one day be used in the wine industry to distinguish between grape varieties and recognise a wine’s vintage.

However, the news has been met with skepticism from winemakers.

“The human nose is amazingly sensitive and can detect whether or not something smells good; I’m not sure how you could program a computer to do that,” Daniel Baron, chief winemaker at Silver Oak Cellars in the Napa Valley, told TechNewsDaily.

He did concede however, that the electronic nose might come in useful when winemakers lose their sense of smell through a head cold.

“If I get a cold in January all work stops. Maybe with a mechanical nose I wouldn’t have to worry about it,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Experienced Administrator

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Harrods
Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

National Sales Manager

Maverick Drinks
Field based, UK

Regional Sales Executive

EWGA
Gloucestershire, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more