Identification and characterisation of odorants in a squishy toy using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry after thermal extraction
Soft, squashable toys known as squishies have become increasingly popular amongst children. In this study, one such toy was evaluated sensorially by a trained panel and analytically using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry (GC-MS/O) after thermal extraction of the sample. Sensory analysis revealed the presence of an intense and unpleasant odour exhibited by the sample. The smell was dominated by almond- and inflatable swimming aid-like, as well as malty and glue-like notes, but also pleasant odours that were described as caramel-like and coconut-like. GC-MS/O analysis identified 2-butoxyethanol, cyclohexanone, g-nonalactone, and ethyl maltol as being the main causative substances for the overall odour of the product. The data additionally indicated that the pleasant smelling substances g-nonalactone (coconut-like smell) and ethyl maltol (caramel-like smell) were intentionally added by the manufacturer to mask the unpleasant odour of the solvents.