Sensenet can detect off-notes in smell or taste from packaging and identify the culprit compound, we can also track the packaging with the best performance odour.

The Challenge

  • We had to detect off notes in food coming from the packaging of a food company.
  • The study is based on the identification of relevant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in terms of odour and from this information to confirm whether there is contamination of the samples with an unwanted odour (garlic).

Our strategy

  • The extraction of volatiles was performed by static headspace with Nalophan bags. A known volume of sample air was collected on Tenax tubes.
  • Subsequently, the samples were analysed by GC-sniffing.

These analyses have made it possible to determine the chemical concentrations of VOCs emitted by the samples, together with an olfactory evaluation of the same (compounds) on an individual basis. In this way, it has been possible to identify the most relevant compounds in terms of odour perception, including the volatile ones associated with the unwanted odour (garlic).


Three sulphur compounds were identified from the packaging, generating a garlic odour in the sample. The compounds identified were dimethyl disulphide, diallyl sulphide and diallyl disulphide (Table 1).

Therefore, care must be taken in the selection and quality of the packaging to ensure that the packaging itself is not a source of substances that can adversely affect the organoleptic properties.

Table 1. Results of the GC-Sniffing-MS analysis of samples S1, S2, S3 and S4.
Figure 2. Quantitative profile of the chemical families of the VOCs of the samples (S1, S2, S3 and S4).
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