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Artificial tongue distinguishes 18 different types of canned tomato

Sharif Sakr

Taste tests are fun -- unless you're in Italy, in which case they're drawn-out and rancorous. That's why scientists in Milan are trying to remove humans from the equation, by using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to reveal objective "metabolomic fingerprints" for different foodstuffs instead. In their latest experiment, NMR succeeded in predicting how human testers would judge 18 different canned tomato products, including sensory descriptors such as bitterness, saltiness, "redness" and density. Like Caesar always said, technology that knows a good ragu is technology we can trust.

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