Robot tongues get teeth

̵6;Electronic tongues̵7; that replicate the human sense of taste are set to become more sophisticated thanks to the work of researchers developing a robotic artificial mouth.

The device, designed by scientists at the French Agriculture Ministry̵7;s ENITIAA research institute, mimics the first steps of digestion involved in the release of aromatic and flavour compounds in the mouth - chewing, saliva release and the initial breakdown of food.

The researchers used image analysis to compare apples chewed by their machine and by volunteers. The resulting pulp was scrutinised for texture and colour, as well as the release of aromatic compounds.

̶0;Our aim was not to reproduce the human mouth conditions exactly, but to reproduce the result of mastication,̶1; explained project leader Galle Arvisenet. ̶0;Experimental conditions were determined that produced fruit in a state closest to that obtained after mastication in a human mouth.̶1;

The French researchers report their work in the American Chemical Society̵7;s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Image: The benchmark for the artificial mouth is its ability to chew pieces of apple

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