eFlavor can screen human taste sensitivity in less than 15 minutes
eFlavor is the first electromedical equipment assessing the sense of taste directly. It does so thanks to an electrode system. Linked with a 13 mv glitchy circuit, the latter can light 1 to 10 LED according to the degree of perceived sensitivity. The device will enable people to save 75% of their time for analysis through an objective report.
The new impartial system of eFlavor will examine human taste sensitivity through biosignals set in the human tongue. In fact, current gustatory tests are slow and difficult to interpret. They are also based on the answers provided by the patients. It would take doctors over a hour to examine each patient’s taste threshold. Hence quite a questionable report. Moreover, no test can detect gustatory dysfunctions and diseases (e.g. ageusia, the loss of taste, and dysgeusia, the distortion of taste). eFlavor also intends to distinguish the gustatory diseases from the olfactory ones.
The beta prototype will be available to the first customers in next months to be validated. The resulting feedbacks will help the team make better models. The startup also intends to make important agreements with health technology industries and put the product on the market by April 2019. The startup will also appeal to food industry, which will be able to carry out qualitative analysis for its own customers.
How technology works
The alpha protoype created by the team, performing during the Finale of CLab UniCa#05Edition, is based on a pattern generated by the Physiology research team from the University of Cagliari. The device recurs to an integrated circuit to register the analogue voltage levels. The latter depend on the primary taste qualities, i.e. sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami (or “savory”) and fat. Furthermore, it powers 10 linearly arranged LEDs. Designed for your tongues, a specific safe electrode will register the emitted signal. After processing the signal, it displays the voltage value (about 0 to 130 mV). Every time 13 mV are registered, a LED will be lighted.
Strategy and partners
To merchandise its product, the startup will use a kit including the device and a quantity of disposable electrodes. At first, eFlavor drew the attention of Italian researchers from Naples, Pisa, Milan, Genoa and Cagliari. The project also met the enthusiasm of the Head Physician of the Dresden Otorhinolaryngology Clinic, in Germany.
The team The eFlavor team includes:
- Gloria Dessì: a pharmacist, she manages advertising and marketing strategies for the startup. She also deals with design, public relations and customer service.
- Francesco Meloni: an economics student, he is in charge of the financial aspects of eFlavor and the records archives.
- Mariano Mastinu: a molecular biology student, he has worked in gustatory physiology for over two years. He’s in charge of Research & Development.