Maple syrup is Quebec’s liquid gold. Now scientists at Université de Montréal have found a way to use real gold — in the form of nanoparticles — to quickly find out how the syrup tastes.
The new method — a kind of artificial tongue — is validated in a study published today in Analytical Methods, the journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, in the United Kingdom.
The “tongue” is a colorimetric test that detects changes in colour to show how a sample of maple syrup tastes. The result is visible to the naked eye in a matter of seconds and is useful to producers.
“The artificial tongue is simpler than a human tongue: it can’t distinguish the complex flavour profiles that we can detect,” said UdeM chemistry professor Jean-François Masson, who led the study. “Our device works specifically to detect flavor differences in maple syrup as it’s being produced.”