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Date of Original Version



Computer Science and Statistics


Tools to define the active ingredients and flavors of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs) are limited by long analysis times, complex sample preparation and a lack of multiplexed analysis. The aim of the present study was to optimize and validate an electronic tongue (E‑tongue) methodology to analyze the bitterness of TCMs. To test the protocol, 35 different TCM concoctions were measured using an E‑tongue, and seven replicate measurements of each sample were taken to evaluate reproducibility and precision. E‑tongue sensor information was identified and classified using analysis approaches including least squares support vector machine (LS‑SVM), support vector machine (SVM), discriminant analysis (DA) and partial least squares (PLS). A benefit of this analytical protocol was that the analysis of a single sample took <15 min for all seven sensors. The results identified that the LS‑SVM approach provided the best bitterness classification accuracy (binary classification accuracy, 100%; ternary classification accuracy, 89.66%). The E‑tongue protocol developed showed good reproducibility and high precision within a 6 h measurement cycle. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of an E‑tongue being applied to assay the bitterness of TCMs. This approach could be applied in the classification of the taste of TCMs, and serve important roles in other fields, including foods and beverages.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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