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Catalan and German boffins have developed a highly sophisticated "electronic tongue" which is expected to greatly increase the satisfaction people achieve during oral recreation activities. But don't worry, this isn't some kind of touchfree onanism device for the terminally lazy or multi-tasking boudoir loner* - in this case, we …

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm

First para got me seriously interested (nip off and watch telly leaving elecro tongue etc etc) but it all went downhill from there.

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Coat

Umami?

What's one of them taste of then*? Are we talking farmed or wild Umamis here?

I'll have my coat. I'm off to Waitrose for a box of oven-ready, breaded Umami pieces.

*Yes, I know, probably chicken.......

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Happy

Has interesting implications.

Not earth-shattering to say the least, but right in line with electronic noses to detect scents and perhaps dangerous substances, now there is an electronic tongue to apply the same principles to the sense of taste. Although its initial applications are commercial (to authenticate wines), it's not too hard to see its application extended to perhaps taste for toxic or contaminated drinks and so on.

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Joke

To really appreciate wine...

it has to have a nose too, a spectrum analyser to view the colour, and a voice box to spout crap about "barrow loads of creosote" or whatever.

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re: Has interesting implications

Like the CIA putting it on the banned exports to Cuba list and possibly a few other places as well. Can't have those commies knowing they're being poisoned.

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Umami

I believe it's the taste of MSG. Japanese food scientists discovered that it was actually distinct to the other tastes.

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@TeeCee

Umami is a recently discovered fifth flavour receptor. At school, they taught me there were 4 - sour, sweet, salt and bitter - but the fifth "umami" is described as "rich" or "meaty" and is associated with high-protein foods.

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