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Electronic tongue used to test pet food

A supermarket is one of the first in the UK to trial a new ‘Electronic Tongue’ in order to taste-test it’s own-brand pet food.

Sainsbury’s is trialling one of only three of its kind in the UK. The Electronic Tongue uses advanced sensors that work like taste buds to measure and compare taste.

The news will come as a relief to professional tasters who have historically had the ‘ruff’ deal of ensuring pet food is up to standard.


The machine is so accurate, that when experts in Sainsbury’s Quality Testing Laboratory put it to the test, it could taste the difference when pet food had even 0.03g more of salt added per 100g, and is even capable of measuring aftertaste.

Juliette Jahaj, head of analytical testing at Sainsbury’s said: “There are a couple of challenges we face when it comes to quality testing pet food, the first being that it’s a fairly unpleasant job for human tasters. Secondly, we can’t ask dogs and cats their opinion!

“What’s paw-sitively brilliant about using the electronic tongue is that we can ensure our pet food is consistently being produced to the recipes that our taste-testing panels of dogs and cats love.

“It’s as close as we can get to talking to the animals – like Dr. Doolittle! We hope this trial gets the tails of the nation’s pets wagging!”


Juliette Jahaj, Sainsbury’s Head of Analytical Testing concluded; “Through this trial we’re excited to see how the Electronic-Tongue can support the fantastic work of our technical and product development teams to ensure the pet food in our stores is just purrrfect!”

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