Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tea Tasters Could Lose Their Jobs

Scientists have developed a mechanized ‘nose’ that can detect complex odours and potentially help lead to better quality teas. The instrument uses sensors to detect and discriminate complex odours. An odour stimulus generates a characteristic fingerprint or pattern, and based on these patterns the teas can be classified, identified and graded as odour lends flavour to tea.

Tea tasters who manually taste teas could lose their jobs to this ‘nose’ that can also act as a tongue. The computing system of the instrument is capable of sensing compounds of tea and predicting the scores that are otherwise manually calculated by tea tasters.

Professional tea tasters of major brokerage firms taste the teas manually before fixing their grades. All this can now be avoided if the teas come with score cards done by a machine. Tea tasters here say it is too early to say if the new nose is any better.

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