Insent started joint research at the Research Institute of Anritsu Co., Ltd. in 1989, on e-Tongue (electronic tongue) taste sensors in cooperation with Professor Kiyoshi Toko of Kyushu University, and successfully commercialized the world’s first taste sensing system. In 2002, Insent took over the taste-sensor business from Anritsu Corporation and became independent as Intelligent Sensor Technology, Inc. headquartered in Japan with a network of more than 10 distributors worldwide.
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1989 Collaborative Research
In 1989 Hidekazu Ikezaki, who was a researcher in the research laboratory of Anritsu Co. Ltd. (Japan), and is now our company president, started collaborative research to develop taste sensors with Dr. Kiyoshi Toko, who was then an assistant professor and is now a professor at Kyushu University. Mr. Kenshi Hayashi who was then a graduate student and is now a professor at Kyushu University, and Professor Satoru Iiyama at Kinki University also joined the research team.
1993 Taste Sensing System SA401
After about 4 years of collaborative research between Anritsu Corporation and Kyushu University, we successfully developed the world’s first commercial SA401 taste sensing system in 1993. A robot arm handled samples and rinsed taste sensors attached to the arm tip. Analysis was performed in a simple manner using MS/DOS batch files. Ten 150-ml samples could be measured in a single measurement with seven types of taste sensors. At that time, when measuring beer samples, the taste sensors needed to be directly immersed in the beer to stabilize the sensor outputs, which was called preconditioning.
1996 Taste Sensing System SA402
We developed the SA402 taste sensing system, which could be controlled by an NEC PC-9800 computer running Windows 95 in 1996. Using the Windows graphical user interface (GUI) for operation and analysis greatly improved efficiency compared to the SA401. One advantage of the above-described preconditioning method was accurate and rapid measurement, but the disadvantage was that it provided little information on taste qualities because all membranes showed the same characteristics due to adsorption of taste substances. The CPA measurement method was developed to overcome this problem, so more taste information could be obtained, leading to objective taste evaluation.
2000 Taste Sensing System SA402B
After production of PC-9800 computers stopped in the late 1990s, we developed the SA402B taste sensing system using IBM PC/AT-compatible computers. Several minor SA402B software revisions were made to support the new Windows® 98, Me, 2000, XP and 7 operating systems as they were released.
Since 2003, we have successfully developed taste sensors with global selectivity using innovative and unique sensor technologies. In addition, we have also developed a new taste information evaluation method, providing a clear understanding of taste qualities and intensities without requiring complex multivariate analysis.
2007 Taste Sensing System TS-5000Z
Early models were designed as stand-alone laboratory instruments but the TS-5000Z is networked for both quality control and laboratory use. Its management server runs on the stable Linux operating system and includes a database to prevent loss, falsification, and leaks of measured data. The database collects all instrument data via a LAN, offering simultaneous access for analysis to multiple users via a web browser.
More than 600 systems are now used in laboratories worldwide.
The most important thing for me is “employee and customer happiness”. Our employees think for themselves, communicate for themselves, act for themselves, and learn for themselves in order to help customers. We believe that such ingenuity and efforts help our customers, which makes us feel happy when they thank us.
Today’s world is diversifying, offering huge business opportunities for everyone, but there are also challenges in applying conventional business methods. Our employees work cooperatively with customers to tackle and solve their business challenges as far as possible.
To this end, we continue making improvements from every aspect. Specifically, we are developing taste sensors, software applications, and equipment, as well as supplying stable consumables and comprehensive after-sales follow-up.
Although these developments and improvements present challenges, our friendly, happy team will always be at your side with efficient support to keep you happy too.
President and CEO
Intelligent Sensor Technology, Inc.