Development of a sensor with a lipid/polymer membrane comprising Na+ ionophores to evaluate the saltiness enhancement effect

Futa Nakatani, Tomofumi Ienaga, Xiao Wu, Yusuke Tahara, Hidekazu Ikezaki, Hiroyuki Sano, Yuki Muto, Yuya Kaneda, Kiyoshi Toko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    The saltiness enhancement effect is the effect whereby saltiness is enhanced by adding specific substances to salt (sodium chloride). Since this effect can be used in the development of salt-reduced foods, a method to objectively evaluate the saltiness with this effect is required. A taste sensor with lipid/polymer membranes has been used to quantify the taste of food and beverages in recent years. The sensor electrodes of this taste sensor have the feature of selectively responding to each of the five basic tastes, which is realized by the lipid/polymer membranes. In this study, we developed a new saltiness sensor based on the lipid/polymer membrane with the aim of quantifying the saltiness enhancement effect. In addition to the conventional components of a lipid, plasticizer, and polymer supporting reagent, the membrane we developed comprises ionophores, which selectively capture sodium ions. As a result, the response of the sensor increased logarithmically with the activity of NaCl in measured samples, similarly to the taste response of humans. In addition, all of the sensor responses increased upon adding saltiness-enhancing substances, such as citric acid, tartaric acid and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), to NaCl samples. These findings suggest that it is possible to quantify the saltiness enhancement effect using a taste sensor with lipid/polymer membranes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number5251
    JournalSensors (Switzerland)
    Issue number23
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Analytical Chemistry
    • Information Systems
    • Instrumentation
    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    • Biochemistry


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