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Characterisation of odorants in wood and related products: Strategies, methodologies and achievements

: Schreiner, Linda; Beauchamp, Jonathan; Buettner, Andrea

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Pro Ligno 13 (2017), No.4, pp.55-62
ISSN: 1841-4737
ISSN: 2069-7430 (Online)
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IVV ()

Wood is a ubiquitous material that has been used by humans for building construction, furniture, products of daily use, or in the form of derived products such as paper and cardboard, for generations. Extensive studies have been made on the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from diverse types of wood, yet only limited information is available on their related odour-active constituents. This article reviews the current state of knowledge on wood odours, covering studies targeting odorants from different woods and investigations on the physiological impact of wood odours on human beings. Further, modern strategies towards elucidating odorants in wood and wood-derived products using analytical tools in combination with human sensory evaluations are introduced and discussed. Specifically, these methods are based on well-established odorant analytical methodologies that are routinely used in the field of food science, namely gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) in combination with sensory dilution approaches such as aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA). The implementation of such methods allows the relative odour potency of individual odorants within a sample to be ascertained and their identities to be determined via gas chromatography mass spectrometry/olfactometry (GC-MS/O) and two-dimensional GC-MS/O (2D-GC-MS/O). The successful identification of potent odorant constituents of wood offers insights into the molecular basis of wood odour profiles, which can be used to understand the transition of possible off-odours or woody smells in wood-related products.