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(Artificial) Tongue LabelsLike most label manufacturers, one of our favorite jobs is making custom beverage labels for various types of drinkables. There's such a wide variety of them, from someone else's tap water (which is what most bottled water is) to sodas, beer, and hard liquor of all types. All such labels require at least an immunity toward frozen and liquid water and handling (except beer bottle labels, which everyone knows you're supposed to peel) but that's pretty much it.

Speaking of labels, we're well aware that there are outlaw label makers out there who are willing, unfortunately, to create counterfeit bottle labels for various products. This has become a huge problem for makers of Scotch whiskey, which to be official has to be made in Scotland, aged for three years and a day in oak barrels, and appropriately labeled. Scotch enthusiasts know very well what Scotch should taste like, right down to the flavors of the various brands. But some less finicky drinkers, used to the taste of Tennessee whisky, Irish whisky, rye, and other types of this potent elixir, may be fooled by counterfeiters who'll bottle any old whisky and label it as Laphroaig, Macallen, or Glenfiddich. 

This practice can cost the manufacturers of quality Scotch millions of dollars annually in sales. That's why scientists at the University in Glasgow have invented a highly effective, reusable electronic "tongue" that can easily taste the difference between various brands of whiskey, to the point of telling its age, brand, and differentiation between batches aged in different barrels. 

We think this is an excellent way to prevent bad guys from putting the wrong beverage labels on their whisky, or just refilling old bottles. But the best thing is, the 500+ aluminum and gold taste buds in these little rectangular "tongues" can also be used on any chemical mixture, so it can detect explosives, poisons, and water pollutants. It can also be used for quality control of anything in liquid form. In time, this will probably prove to be an even more important use of this technology; and when that time comes, we'll be ready to provide custom labels for any use, whether for beer bottles, whiskey bottles, wine bottles, or laboratory equipment.

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