Characterization of off-odours and potentially harmful substances in a fancy dress accessory handbag for children
A fancy dress accessory handbag for children was claimed by consumers to exhibit an offensive smell. Sensory characterization by an expert panel revealed, amongst others, rubber- and car tire - like notes. For elucidation of the molecular reasons of this sensory defect, the volatile fraction of the product was isolated by means of solvent extraction and high vacuum distillation. Identification of the main odorants was accomplished by means of one- and two-dimensional gas chromatography, with parallel mass spectrometric and olfactometric detection. In total more than 60 odorants were detected in the sample and more than 30 of these odour-active substances could be identified. Amongst them were a number of naphthalene derivatives as well as saturated and mono- or di-unsaturated carbonyl compounds. The naphthalene derivatives that were identified in the children's article appeared to be mainly responsible for the characteristic off-odour. Additionally, a GC-MS-screening for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was performed, which revealed the presence of 15 PAHs in total. However, 14 of them were of no relevance for the smell of the product.