A taste for wine

European scientists have built a portable "electronic tongue" based on six ISFET sensor devices that can broadly detect common ions and heavy metals. The sensors are coupled to a flow injection analysis (FIA) system and then the data fed into a chemometrics system for pattern recognition. The team led by Cecilia Jimenez-Jorquera of the Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics, Spain, quickly and inexpensively reveals information about grape variety and even vintage at the press of a button. The researchers say the device can be trained to "taste" new varieties as required and so will be a boon to wine producers looking for rapid online quality control. The same system might also be used by the authorities to check for vintage fraud or adulterated wine.