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E-tongues & e-noses; Are e-hops next?

The Washington Post reports a Japanese consortium hasy released a Health and Food Advice Robot that can distinguish among 30 kinds of wine, as well as various cheeses and breads, and “has the irritating capacity to warn its owner against poor eating habits.”

The expert taster sat silently in the brightly lighted room, surrounded by 53 samples of ruby-red wine.

Fifty-three sniffs and 53 sips later, the judgment was in: a hint of black cherry . . . some acid . . . a floral nose. Every one of the wines, the taster reported, was an Italian Barbera, and all were made from exactly the same variety of grape.

But there was more. The grapes used for 23 of the bottles were grown in one region of northern Italy, the expert asserted, while those in the other 30 bottles came from a different region – a region, it turns out, just 60 miles from the first and featuring only minor differences in soil and sunlight.

I’m wondering how this robot might do next month at the World Beer Cup, given that the judges have 2,931 beers to evaluate in two days.

And what do you call a robot who is a hop head?

4 Responses to E-tongues & e-noses; Are e-hops next?

  1. Todd March 10, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    A GC-MS with a data base?

  2. brewer a March 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm #


  3. Al March 10, 2008 at 5:47 pm #


    Robbie Rhizome




  4. SteveH March 11, 2008 at 4:59 am #

    My first thought was the same as Brewer A.

    But someone had to program this thing, right? I’m guessing that they didn’t add in any hop & malt character to the database and the first sniff of an Imperial IPA will probably overload the circuits and spit out a report on a bad Chardonnay! 😉

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