Soba noodles are delicious but what if there was a way to truly figure out exactly how tasty they are? A Japanese company recently announced that it had created the world’s first noodle taste analyzer, which is a machine that can scientifically estimate the tastiness of soba noodles in mere seconds.
Japan’s Nagano Prefecture is a popular area to get the popular variety of noodles made with buckwheat flour. To truly honor and show off the area’s soba noodle production, Yatsurugigiken Inc. and Shinshu University’s Faculty of Agriculture teamed up to create the world’s first noodle deliciousness analyzer.
Using ultraviolet LED-induced fluorescence to around two grams of buckwheat flour, the device can measure the levels of phospholipids, proteins, and other taste-related substances. Within seconds, flavor ratings are available in four different categories (taste, aroma, greenness, freshness) and are displayed on an LED display.
“Millers have relied on skilled workers’ insights for flavor assessment but I wanted to evaluate soba’s flavor in numerical form and show the noodle’s quality in an objective fashion,” said Naoya Shimizu, president of Yatsurugigiken said.
Although taste is subject, in terms of buckwheat flour quantity, the device can decide which noodles are the most delicious. Due to this creative invention, Yatsurugigiken Inc. has secured a patent for its ingenious device and is confident that restaurant operators, millers, agricultural cooperatives and other entities will be interested in purchasing it.
To confirm how well their machine works, Yatsurugigiken plans to hold multiple sensory tests to prove that there actually is a correlation between the results of its noodle deliciousness analyzer and how highly people rate the taste and aroma of various soba noodles. This will help buckwheat farmers as a result.
“Showing objective values will help rectify soba’s price, which differs among producing areas,” Naoya Shimizu said. “That will provide encouragement for farmers plagued by cheaper market prices and lead to an improved value of soba.”