Neural Computing and Applications

, Volume 31, Supplement 2, pp 1165–1171 | Cite as

A recurrent Elman network in conjunction with an electronic nose for fast prediction of optimum fermentation time of black tea

  • S. Ghosh
  • B. Tudu
  • N. Bhattacharyya
  • R. BandyopadhyayEmail author
Original Article


Tea industries enjoy a significant position in the socio-economic ladder for any demographics, especially in India who is the largest producer as well as consumer of the agro-product. While tea ranks only next to water in the pedigree of globally consumed beverages, the imperative fermentation stage in the processing of tea leaves is conventionally monitored through olfactory perception of tea tasters. Recent advances in the field of machine olfaction have witnessed the advent of electronic nose prototypes, which provide a scientific validation to the organoleptic estimations disseminated by the tasters. However, fermentation is a continuous process requiring constant monitoring whose successful completion relies heavily on identification of distinct aroma peaks emanated at optimum instants. Since the fermentation process is integral to the final quality, it is deemed beneficial if the optimum fermentation period can be predicted at an earlier stage. Such preemptive information can mitigate constant monitoring requirements and momentary concentration lapses. Recognizing the time series nature of the data generated during the fermentation process with an electronic nose prototype, we have implemented a recurrent Elman network to predict the optimum fermentation period for different black tea samples. The results showed that the prescribed network could predict the optimum period with confidence at the halfway of the process. The minimal error between the predicted and the actual fermentation period at the halfway point suggests that the proposed model can well be integrated with an electronic nose dedicated for monitoring the fermentation process.


Tea fermentation Electronic nose Recurrent network Elman network Optimum fermentation time Sensors 



The authors are grateful to Dr. Anutosh Chatterjee, former scientist, Bose Institute, Kolkata, India, and Mr. Surajit Ghosh, eminent tea technologist for their valuable guidance and encouragement throughout the study. The authors are deeply indebted to all the Tea Industries where experiments were carried out. The work has been sponsored by the National Tea Research Foundation, Tea Board, Government of India.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© The Natural Computing Applications Forum 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Ghosh
    • 1
  • B. Tudu
    • 1
  • N. Bhattacharyya
    • 2
  • R. Bandyopadhyay
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Instrumentation and Electronics EngineeringJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Development of Advanced ComputingKolkataIndia

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