The electronics field is developing at a fast rate. Each day the industry is coming with new technology and products. The electronic components play a major role in all fields of life. The scientists had started to mimic the biological world. The development of artificial neural network (ANN), in which the nervous system is electronically implemented is one among them.
The scientists realized the importance of the detection and identification of odor in many fields. In human body it is achieved with the help of one of the sense organ, the nose. So scientists realized the need of imitating the human nose. The concept of the electronic nose appeared for the first time in a nature paper by Persuade and Dodd (1982). The authors suggested and demonstrated with a few examples that gas sensor array responses could be analyzed with artificial neural networks thereby increasing sensitivity and precision in analysis significantly. This first publication was followed by several methodological papers evaluating different sensor types and combinations.
The scientists saw the last advances in the electronic means of seeing and hearing. Witnessing this fast advances they scent a marker for systems mimicking the human nose. The harnessing of electronics to measure odor is greatly desired. Human panels backed by gas chromatography (GC)/ mass spectroscopy (MS) are helpful in quantifying smells. The human panels are subject to fatigue and inconsistencies. While classical gas chromatography (GC)/ mass spectrograph (MS) technique separate quantify and identify individual volatile chemicals, they cannot tell us if the components have an odour. Also they are very slow. So it is important that faster methods must give way to speedier procedure using an electronic nose composed of gas sensory. The E-nose was developed not to replace traditional GC/MS and sensory techniques. The E-nose was sensitive and as discriminating as the human nose, and it also correlates extremely with GC/MS data. The electronic nose allows to transfer expert know ledged from highly trained sensory panels and very sophisticated R&D analytical techniques to the production floor for the control of quality. Although the human nose is very sensitive, it is highly subjective. The E – nose offers objectivity and reproducibility.
The electronic nose technology goes several steps ahead of the conventional gas sensors. The electronics nose system detects and sensing devices with pattern recognition sub system. The electronic nose won quickly considerable interest in food analysis for rapid and reliable quality classification in manufacturing testing. Later, the electronic noses have also been applied to classification of micro organisms and bio-reactor monitoring. Even though the electronic nose resembles its biological counter part nose too closely the label “electronic nose” or “E-nose” has been widely accepted around the world.