Sensenet can detest smell and taste off-notes coming from packaging and identify the culprit compound. We can also track the packaging with the best performance odour.

The challenge

  • We were requested by a food company to detect in his products the off-notes coming from the packaging
  • 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 in the packaging, generating a garlic odour in the samples. The compounds identified were dimethyl disulphide, diallyl sulphide and diallyl disulphide (Table 1).

Therefore, packaging should be carefully selected and formulated, to ensure that the packaging itself is not a source of substances that could adversely affect the organoleptic properties of the food products it should contain.

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).
close slider

    Yes! I would like to receive updates (by email or phone) about services, news, offers from Sensenet

    Press here to register as a panelist