Tasting plays a major role in the whole cooking process. It is very important to taste a dish to understand if it has the right amount of salt, sugar and spice. Alongside, it is equally important to chew the food properly to understand its texture. For instance, until you take a bite of mango, you will not understand if it's juicy, sweet and ripened. It is something the experts were struggling with while developing robots to automate the cooking process in a professional kitchen (personal kitchen, as well). While a robot chef in a restaurant was curtailing down the manual labour, the struggle remained with the taste. This is why the researchers of the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with a domestic appliance manufacturer, came up with a culinary robot. Wonder what it is? The culinary robot is something that not only automates the cooking process but also tastes the food to understand its flavours. They "trained their robot chef to assess the saltiness of a dish at different stages of the chewing process, imitating a similar process in humans," a report on the official University of Cambridge website reads. The findings of the study were published in the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI.
During the process, the robot chefs "which has already been trained to make omelettes based on human taster's feedback", were made to taste nine different types of dishes made with scrambled eggs and tomatoes. These robots also underwent three different stages of the chewing process, on the basis of which they created a 'taste map' of the dishes.
It was found that this process of taste mapping improved the robots' ability to understand the spice and saltiness of a dish to make it yet more accurate. "Most home cooks will be familiar with the concept of tasting as you go - checking a dish throughout the cooking process to check whether the balance of flavours is right. If robots are to be used for certain aspects of food preparation, it's important that they are able to 'taste' what they're cooking," explains Grzegorz Sochacki from Cambridge's Department of Engineering, the paper's first author.
The report further reads that the researchers are working on improving the robot chefs in future, who can taste different types of foods to improve sensing capabilities.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.