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Coffee bitterness determination with an electronic tongue

Resource type: 
Application note
Alpha MOS
Date of creation: 
3 November 2015
Library code: 

Determination of the bitterness of coffee preparations with the Alpha MOS ASTREE Electronic Tongue
Courtesy of Aromalab, the R&D laboratory of the ILLY Coffee company (Italy)

Bitterness is a major parameter of coffee taste. When looking for the components extracted from coffee, responsible for the bitterness, the Alpha MOS ASTREE E-tongue is a convenient tool, as a sensory panel is not always suitable for the testing of components extracted for R&D purpose.

The objective of the study was to set up a procedure to determine the bitterness level of various coffee preparations. The experimental method consists in building a bitterness scale with the e-tongue from coffees tested by a sensory panel, then to use it to assess bitterness of components extracted from coffee.

It was concluded that:

  • Simplicity of sample preparation and analysis make this experiment easy to set up and minimizes operational variations always induced with complex protocols
  • The use of E-Tongue allows performing studies with compounds that may contain some chemicals unsafe or unpleasant for a sensory panel, thus expanding means of investigations in R&D
  • The E-Tongue also provides a high level of autonomy to R&D laboratories, being permanently available and fully automated