Development of sweetness sensor with selectivity to negatively charged high-potency sweeteners

Masato Yasuura, Hirotaka Okazaki, Yusuke Tahara, Hidekazu Ikezaki, Kiyoshi Toko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objective taste evaluation has been much in demand in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. A taste-sensing system, which is an electronic tongue with "global selectivity," is one of the methods used for objective taste evaluation. A taste sensor electrode responds to only one of the basic tastes (saltiness, sourness, sweetness, bitterness and umami) as a change in membrane potential caused by interactions with tastants. Sweet substances are compounds with diverse chemical structures and sizes. Since the taste-sensing system is a potentiometric measurement system using a change in membrane potential, three types of sweetness sensors are required, one for sweeteners with each type of electric charge (uncharged, positively charged and negatively charged). A sweetness sensor for uncharged sweeteners has been developed. Therefore, negatively charged sweeteners, such as saccharine sodium and acesulfame potassium, were chosen as the target substances in this study. We investigated the responses of various sensor membranes using a lipid and nine kinds of plasticizers to each basic taste sample. Furthermore, not only the selectivity of the membranes but also the concentration dependence of their response to sweeteners was investigated. As a result, one of the developed sensors showed responses of over 20 mV to 5 mM saccharine sodium and 10 mM acesulfame potassium in CPA value measurement (CPA: change in membrane potential caused by adsorption). On the other hand, the sensor also showed nearly zero responses to other basic taste samples. In addition, saltiness was the only interfering taste, and the responses to target substances in relative value measurement were over 140 mV. The developed sweetness sensor had high selectivity and concentration-dependent responses. Hence, we concluded that the sensor is suitable for use as a sweetness sensor for high-potency sweeteners with a negative electric charge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-335
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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