Cucumber + Honey = Melon!
The development of the taste sensor has revealed all kinds of new things about flavors. For example, scientific analysis has shown clearly the differences that exist in levels of sourness and bitterness in various types of coffee beans. Researchers have also discovered that when you add milk to coffee, the savory and saltiness levels do not change at all, but the score for bitterness drops dramatically, giving the coffee a milder taste that many people find easier to drink.
Some even more fascinating discoveries concern what happens when you put certain flavors together. Try putting some honey on a cucumber. Eat it with your eyes closed, and you'll swear you were eating melon. Data obtained with the new taste sensor confirms that they both have similar taste characteristics. The sensor has identified lots of other examples of things with similar flavor profiles, some of them quite surprising—such as the yoghurt flavor that results from mixing vinegar and milk, the strawberry taste you get by sprinkling sugar onto a tomato, and the grape taste that results when you combine an apple with milk.
The food sensor promises to be extremely useful when it comes to developing new foods. In the past, product developers had to rely on the personal opinions of human volunteers. Now, thanks to the food sensor, it is possible to get hold of precise data for the first time about the flavors that people like and the elements that make certain foods taste good. Many food companies have already started using the taste sensor as an important tool in their development work.
(Updated in December 2010)