Espresso Yourself: Wearable Tech Measures Emotional Responses to Coffee

Researchers in Italy have developed a new method for assessing coffee quality using wearable technology. The study, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, demonstrated the feasibility of using wearable sensors to measure the emotional responses of coffee experts during tastings. This innovative approach reduces judgment biases that can result from traditional and more subjective methods of coffee quality assessment.

Traditionally, coffee properties assessment relied on trained panelists and standardized questionnaires, leading to potential biases. However, this study marks the first instance in scientific literature where wearable sensors have been employed to examine the implicit emotional responses of experienced coffee judges. The team equipped judges at an international coffee tasting competition in Milan, Italy, with sensors for measuring the electrical activity of the heart, brain, and skin.

The biomedical signals measured revealed significant correlations between these biomedical signals and data obtained from conventional questionnaires across all sensory domains, confirming the viability of the approach for enhancing the quality assessment of coffee. The results could have broader implications within the field of neuromarketing, as it could guide consumers in selecting more emotionally satisfying coffee blends and influence users to choose more ethical and sustainable products while maintaining high levels of sensory satisfaction.

The team is now looking to attract funding to carry out further investigations in specific use case scenarios related to coffee production and distribution, as well as looking beyond coffee to investigate biological matrices related to food and drinks, such as in some particular wines.

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