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1. Collaborative research (1989)

In 1989 Hidekazu Ikezaki, who was a researcher in the research laboratory of Anritsu Corporation (Japan), and is now the president of our company, started research and develop taste sensors collaboratively with Dr. Kiyoshi Toko, who was an assistant professor of Kyushu University at that time, and is now a professor of Kyushu University (Japan). Also Mr. Kenshi Hayashi, who was a graduate student of Kyushu University at that time, and is now a professor of Kyushu University, and Dr. Prof. Satoru Iiyama of Kinki University joined the research project.

2. SA401 Taste Sensing System (1993)

SA401 Taste Sensing System
After around 4 years of collaborative research between Anritsu Corporation and Kyushu University, we successfully developed the first ever commercial taste sensing system, model SA401, in 1993. A robot arm moved automatically to handle samples and to rinse taste sensors attached to the tip of the arm. Analysis was performed in a simple manner using MS/DOS batch files. Ten 150 ml samples could be measured in a single measurement with 7 types of taste sensors. At that time, if beer samples were measured, the taste sensors needed to be directly immersed in the samples to stabilize the sensor outputs, which was called the preconditioning method.

The SA401 was only sold in Japan, and about 10 systems were employed in laboratories and national institutes. Iwate Institute Research Center, one of our customers, used the SA401 for the evaluation of Japanese Sake, and Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko came to see the machine in operation as an example of the latest technology.

3. SA402 Taste Sensing System (1996)

SA402 Taste Sensing System
To run on Windows95, which was widely used at the time, we developed the SA402 taste sensing system which could be controlled by one of PC-9800 series computers developed by NEC. The graphical user interface (GUI) used for operation and analysis was improved drastically compared with that of the SA401.

The advantage of the above-mentioned preconditioning method was that it enabled accurate and rapid measurement, while the disadvantage was that it provided little information on taste qualities because all the membranes showed the same characteristics due to the adsorption of taste substances.

To overcome this problem, the CPA measurement method was developed so that much more information could be obtained on taste, consequently leading to objective taste evaluation.

The SA402 was only sold in Japan, and about 20 systems were employed in laboratories and national institutes in Japan.

4. SA402B Taste Sensing System (2000)

SA402B Taste Sensing System
In the late 1990s, following the end of production of the PC-9800 series computers, we developed the SA402B taste sensing system, which could be used with IBM PC/AT-compatible computers. In addition, several minor changes to the software in SA402B were made in response to the launch of new Windows operating systems 98, Me, 2000, XP and 7.

Since around 2003 we have succeeded in developing taste sensors with global selectivity using innovative and unique sensor technologies. In addition, we have also developed a new taste evaluation method, called the taste information method, which provides a clear understanding of taste qualities and intensities without the need for complicated multivariate analysis.

In 2006 we started selling our products overseas, and more than 150 systems are being used in companies and institutions specializing in the fields of food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.

5. TS-5000Z Taste Sensing System (2007)

TS-5000Z Taste Sensing System
The previous models were designed to be used as stand-alone instruments only in the laboratory. TS-5000Z is part of network system and has been designed for use in both quality control and the laboratory. Its management server runs on a Linux operating system with a reputation for stable operation and includes a database to prevent the loss, destruction, falsification and divulgation of measurement data. The database collects all of the data from instruments via a LAN, providing several users with simultaneous access, using a web browser for analysis.

More than 250 systems are being used in laboratories around the world.

Learn more about the TS-5000Z >

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