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Material odor-odoractive compounds identified in different materials - the surprising similarities with certain foods, possible sources and hypotheses on their formation

: Mayer, F.; Breuer, K.


Indoor Air 16 (2006), Nr.5, S.373-382
ISSN: 0905-6947
ISSN: 1600-0668
Fraunhofer IBP ()
odor; material; food; gas chromatography-olfactometry; material improvement

Increased efforts have been undertaken by manufacturers to reveal the secrets of material odors, the structure of the odorants responsible, with regard to finding out the source(s) of odor and possible starting points for odor reduction, and therewith product improvement, increased consumer satisfaction and improved indoor air quality. The identification of odor-active compounds in materials by means of gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O, also called GC-sniffing), performed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) during the previous years, showed surprising similarities between certain odorants found in materials and those previously identified in certain kinds of food. Examples of important odorants found in different material samples and similarities with food odorants were analyzed. Odorant sources are indicated as regards materials, and possible conditions and mechanisms of formation suggested to show starting points for odor reduction and odor improvement in material development.