Development of a sweetness sensor for aspartame, a positively charged high-potency sweetener

Masato Yasuura, Yusuke Tahara, Hidekazu Ikezaki, Kiyoshi Toko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Taste evaluation technology has been developed by several methods, such as sensory tests, electronic tongues and a taste sensor based on lipid/polymer membranes. In particular, the taste sensor can individually quantify five basic tastes without multivariate analysis. However, it has proven difficult to develop a sweetness sensor, because sweeteners are classified into three types according to the electric charges in an aqueous solution; that is, no charge, negative charge and positive charge. Using membrane potential measurements, the taste-sensing system needs three types of sensor membrane for each electric charge type of sweetener. Since the commercially available sweetness sensor was only intended for uncharged sweeteners, a sweetness sensor for positively charged high-potency sweeteners such as aspartame was developed in this study. Using a lipid and plasticizers, we fabricated various lipid/polymer membranes for the sweetness sensor to identify the suitable components of the sensor membranes. As a result, one of the developed sensors showed responses of more than 20 mV to 10 mM aspartame and less than 5 mV to any other taste. The responses of the sensor depended on the concentration ofaspartame. These results suggested that the developed sweetness sensor had high sensitivity to and high selectivity for aspartame.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7359-7373
Number of pages15
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 23 2014

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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