The Thai Delicious Committee, an agency sponsored by the Thai government, has created a robot food taster, which can supposedly tell if you are eating genuine Thai green curry.
The committee oversaw the robot's development, which costs about $1 million. The agency reveals that the robot, which is referred to as the e-delicious machine, is intelligent and measures taste and smell in food ingredients using sensors attached to it. The machine can test 10 Thai dishes, but the developers hope to add more entrees to the menu it can detect.
The e-delicious machine is said to evaluate a Thai dish by measuring the food's conductivity at different voltages. Readings from the sensors will produce a chemical signature, which will then be compared with the pre-determined chemical signature of a Thai dish to establish the authenticity.
The robot was made out of the committee's concern that Thai restaurants across the world serve Thai food that is not authentic enough. The robot is designed to scientifically evaluate a dish against standards of authenticity. The Thai Delicious Committee has also created a logo that restaurants can display to show that their dishes have been tested by e-delicious. The logo will help foodies savor genuine Thai cuisine approved by the committee.
Some ingredients used in authentic Thai food, such Thai limes, fresh tamarind and galangal (a ginger-like aromatic root) among others, are not easily available in many parts of the world. Thai restaurants then substitute these ingredients with inferior elements and sell them as authentic Thai food. Moreover, many Thai restaurants do not have Thai owners.
"There are many Thai restaurants all around the world that are not owned by Thai people," says Supachai Lorlowhakarn, an adviser to the National Innovation Agency. "They are owned by [people from] Vietnam or Myanmar, or maybe even Italian or French."
If the machine is made commercially available across the globe, then diners will know easily which restaurants serve authentic Thai dishes. A businessman named Nakah Thawichawatt is also trying to make the robot commercially available for $18,000 per unit at Thai Embassies in countries where Thai restaurants operate. It is still unknown if restaurants across the world will have to visit their local Thai Embassies to get a certificate of authenticity for their menu.