Electric nose sniffs out freshness of meat

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A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore have invented an artificial olfactory system that mimics the mammalian nose and aims to assess the freshness of meat.

The ‘electric nose’ (e-nose) comprises a ‘barcode’ that reacts with gases produced by decaying meat, and a ‘barcode reader’ that uses AI to interpret the combination of colours on the barcode, researchers confirmed. By integrating it into a smartphone app, which the team claim can yield results in 30 seconds, the e-nose is portable and predicts meat freshness with 98.5 per cent accuracy.

Barcodes in the e-nose have been designed to mimic receptors in the mammalian nose. When gases produced by decaying meat bind to receptors in the mammalian nose, signals are generated and transmitted to the brain. The brain then collects these responses and organises them into patterns, allowing the mammal to identify the odour present as meat ages and rots.

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