Biosensor analysis of natural and artificial sweeteners in intact taste epithelium

Fenni Zhang, Qian Zhang, Diming Zhang, Yanli Lu, Qingjun Liu, Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Sweeteners are commonly used as food additives in our daily life, which, however, have been causing a number of undesirable diseases since the last century. Therefore, the detection and quantification of sweeteners are of great value for food safety. In this study, we used a taste biosensor to measure and analyze different sweeteners, both natural and artificial sweeteners included. Electrophysiological activities from taste epithelium were detected by the multi-channel biosensors and analyzed with spatiotemporal methods. The longtime signal result showed different temporal-frequency properties with stimulations of individual sweeteners such as glucose, sucrose, saccharin, and cyclamate, while the multi-channel results in our study revealed the spatial expression of taste epithelium to sweet stimuli. Furthermore, in the analysis of sweetener with different concentrations, the result showed obvious dose-dependent increases in signal responses of the taste epithelium, which indicated promising applications in sweetness evaluation. Besides, the mixture experiment of two natural sweeteners with a similar functional unit (glucose and sucrose) presented two signal patterns, which turned out to be similar with responses of each individual stimulus involved. The biosensor analysis of common sweeteners provided new approaches for both natural and artificial sweeteners evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - Apr 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial sweetener
  • Biosensor
  • Microelectrodes
  • Natural sugar
  • Taste epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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