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Evaluation of different types of sugar using an electronic tongue

Grant number: 06/02228-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2007
Effective date (End): December 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Aldo Eloizo Job
Grantee:Fernanda Lanzoni Migliorini
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil


The aim of the project is the use of ultra-thin films of different materials as individual sensing units in an “electronic tongue” for the assessment of different varieties of sugar produced at the UNIVALEM plant station - one of the prime sugar cane and alcohol producer in the world (COSAN group), located in Valparaiso City (São Paulo State) since 1976. This sort of device has being largely employed in the analysis of complex liquid systems based on the global selectivity concept, in analogy with the human tongue. In other words, the transducing materials composing the sensing units are not specific to the chemical species in solution, but a fingerprint of the liquid can be built from their electrical response. This system has a high sensitivity to non-electrolytes such as sucrose at low molar concentrations, contrary to other e-tongue devices based on voltammetric and potentiometric measurements. Moreover, the use of nanostructured thin films and impedance measurements allows the distinction of tastants 3 orders of magnitude bellow the human threshold. It worth mentioning as well the development of a low-cost prototype at our research group, which might strength the interaction between a public University and a private company to achieve the solution of a practical problem – fast sugar cane evaluation at its final stage, of primary economical importance. (AU)

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