An electronic tongue for honey classification
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- Dias, L., Peres, A., Vilas-Boas, M. et al. Microchim Acta (2008) 163: 97. doi:10.1007/s00604-007-0923-8
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An electronic tongue system was developed based on 20 all-solid-state potentiometric sensors and chemometric data processing, with polymeric membranes applied on solid conducting silver-epoxy supports and a Ag/AgCl reference electrode. The sensor array was applied to 52 commercial honey samples obtained randomly from different regions of Portugal. These samples were analysed independently for their pollen profiles by biological techniques and the data collected with the tongue were evaluated for discrimination of the samples with multivariate statistical methods (principal component analysis and linear discriminant analysis), to investigate whether the device may provide an analytical alternative for classification of honey samples with respect to pollen type, a task which is time consuming and requires skilled labour when performed by biological techniques. It was found that the tongue has a reasonable efficiency for classification of honey samples of the most common three types (with Erica, Echium and Lavandula as predominant pollens). With linear discriminant analysis, the honey samples yielded about 84% classification accuracy and 72% for crossed validation. In this study, the honey samples correctly classified for the different types of the dominant pollen were: 53% for Lavandula, 83% for Erica and 78% for Echium pollen.