In the past decade, electronic nose instrumentation has generated much interest internationally for its potential to solve a wide variety of problems in fragrance and cosmetics production, food and beverages manufacturing, chemical engineering, environmental monitoring, and more recently, medical diagnostics and bioprocesses.
Description of E-Nose
Several dozen companies are now designing and selling electronic nose units globally for a wide variety of expanding markets. An electronic nose is a machine that is designed to detect and discriminate among complex odours using a sensor array. The sensor array of consists of broadly tuned (non-specific) sensors that are treated with a variety of odour-sensitive biological or chemical materials. An odour stimulus generates a characteristic fingerprint (or smell-print) from the sensor array.
Patterns or fingerprints from known odours are used to construct a database and train a pattern recognition system so that unknown odours can subsequently be classified and identified. Thus, electronic nose instruments are comprised of hardware components to collect and transport odours to the sensor array - as well as electronic circuitry to digitise and stored the sensor responses for signal processing.
In an ever-developing world, where electronic devices are duplicating every other sense of perception, the sense of smell is lagging behind. Yet, recently, there has been an urgent increase in the need for detecting odours, to replace the human job of sensing and quantification.Some of the most important applications fall in the category where human beings cannot afford to risk smelling the substance.