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Quality of Red Wine Determined by a Newly Developed Electronic Sensor

It is now possible to determine the quality of red wine with a newly developed electronic nose. The technology might turn out to be an alternative to manual wine tasting.

José Chilo, Docent in electrical engineering. Image Credit: Högskolan i Gävle

The use of AI is increasing the potential of the e-nose every day.

José Chilo, Researcher, Electrical Engineering, University of Gävle

An electronic nose is comprised of a few sensors, an analysis system, and a signal processing system. The e-nose has the potential to determine substances with the help of a method that is similar to the human sense of smell.

Electronic nose technology is not something new; it has been utilized for everything from detecting explosives to identifying if a person is suffering from a serious illness.

For more than two decades, José Chilo has studied the subject in partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He has, for instance, come up with a model that has the potential to identify if water is drinkable.

The electronic nose’s new version, which José Chilo developed in collaboration with scientists from Spain, emphasizes wine or, more accurately, the level of acetic acid in red wine.

Acetic acid is formed when alcohol oxidizes and is present in low levels in all wine. But the concentration of acetic acid could turn out to be too high at the time of winemaking or when few wines are aged for too long, which poses a risk of making the wine undrinkable.

In other words, José Chilo s electronic nose quantifies how the acetic acid content of a wine changes with time. Besides improved software, the new e-nose consists of a new component that blows air into the sensors.

When adding oxygen, our results became better and more reliable, since oxygen releases substances from the wine. You can compare it to when a sommelier aerates wine before tasting.

José Chilo, Researcher in Electrical Engineering, University of Gävle

One benefit is its high trustworthiness, but the main competitive benefit of the method is speed. Furthermore, in conventional wine tasting, where wine connoisseurs sample the wine, people could fall ill and have a decreased sense of smell.

Possibly, chemical analysis can provide an even more accurate result, but the drawbacks here are that it is slower and costs more money. The e-nose provides faster answers regarding the quality of the wine.

José Chilo, Researcher, Electrical Engineering, University of Gävle

The new e-nose is known as a prototype that is mainly intended for use in winemaking. But potentially it will be able to evaluate the quality of an aged wine.

Chilo stated, “If we develop this method further, it will be able to identify essential components in a wine. By using AI, we are improving the technology every day.”

Journal Reference:

Hernández, E., et al. (2023) Evaluation of Red Wine Acidification Using an E-Nose System with Venturi Tool Sampling. Sensors.


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