Splenda, Equal, Sweet’n Low, sugar…who can taste the difference? A new artificial tongue can, and it is being used to taste the flavor subtleties in sugar and imitation sugar that evade the human tongue. By detecting the change in pH (acid) when a sweet substance is mixed with a derivative of boric acid, the “sweetness sensor” reports the source of the sweetness visually. “We take things that smell or taste and convert their chemical properties into a visual image,” said chemist Kenneth Suslick of the University of Illinois. “This is the first practical ‘electronic tongue’ sensor that you can simply dip into a sample and identify the source of sweetness based on its color.” Though the “tongue” is not the first of its kind, it is the best: In 80 trials, the sensor identified 14 different kinds of natural and artificial sweeteners with 100 percent accuracy. “Our sensor is much better at telling the difference between sweeteners than humans,” said Suslick in an email.