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Artificial nose becomes coffee analyzer, sniffs out KIRF Starbucks venues

Darren Murph
February 21, 2010
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Artificial schnozzes have been sniffing foreign objects for years now, but rarely are they engineered to sniff out specific things. A team of researchers from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign have done just that, though, with a new snout that acts as a coffee analyzer. Reportedly, the device can "distinguish between ten well-known commercial brands of coffee and can also make a distinction between coffee beans that have been roasted at different temperatures or lengths of time." The significance here is that this distinction is incredibly difficult to make, and it could one day help coffee growers determine whether batches are as good as prior batches on the cheap. More importantly, however, it could help the modern java hunter determine whether or not they're walking in a corporate Starbucks or one of those "branded" kiosks with two-fifths the menu. Brilliant, right?

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