Research on the changes to the lipid/polymer membrane used in the acidic bitterness sensor caused by preconditioning

Yuhei Harada, Junpei Noda, Rui Yatabe, Hidekazu Ikezaki, Kiyoshi Toko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A taste sensor that uses lipid/polymer membranes can evaluate aftertastes felt by humans using Change in membrane Potential caused by Adsorption (CPA) measurements. The sensor membrane for evaluating bitterness, which is caused by acidic bitter substances such as iso-alpha acid contained in beer, needs an immersion process in monosodium glutamate (MSG) solution, called “MSG preconditioning”. However, what happens to the lipid/polymer membrane during MSG preconditioning is not clear. Therefore, we carried out three experiments to investigate the changes in the lipid/polymer membrane caused by the MSG preconditioning, i.e., measurements of the taste sensor, measurements of the amount of the bitterness substance adsorbed onto the membrane and measurements of the contact angle of the membrane surface. The CPA values increased as the preconditioning process progressed, and became stable after 3 d of preconditioning. The response potentials to the reference solution showed the same tendency of the CPA value change during the preconditioning period. The contact angle of the lipid/polymer membrane surface decreased after 7 d of MSG preconditioning; in short, the surface of the lipid/polymer membrane became hydrophilic during MSG preconditioning. The amount of adsorbed iso-alpha acid was increased until 5 d preconditioning, and then it decreased. In this study, we revealed that the CPA values increased with the progress of MSG preconditioning in spite of the decrease of the amount of iso-alpha acid adsorbed onto the lipid/polymer membrane, and it was indicated that the CPA values increase because the sensor sensitivity was improved by the MSG preconditioning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number230
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2016

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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