The main objectives were to combine knowledge gathered from the electronic nose (EN) with traditional analytical reference methods for measuring volatile compounds, such as sensory and headspace methods. The impacts of different colouring agents on the sensory properties of packaging materials when analysed by EN were determined. The first step in investigations using the EN was optimization of sample treatment and analysis parameters for the samples. The best resolution was achieved at 60 ° C in 20min, and the effect of humidity on the EN sensors was confirmed. A comparison was made of three sensory methods for analysing taints of packaging materials. The study showed that the odour of the packaging itself was often not a reliable indication of the taint perceived in the packed foodstuff and should be regarded only as indicative. Taints caused by pigments of printed solid boards were analysed by EN. Twenty samples were studied, representing unprinted solid board, lacquered solid board, offset printed solid board with 14 different colours and offset printed, lacquered solid board with four colours. The EN succeeded in grouping these materials according to their colouring agents or lacquering, despite slight overlapping of replicates, and the results appeared to reflect at least to some extent the off-flavours perceived in sensory evaluation. The results of this study are only indicative, because the analysis of results from different sources or equipment requires more extensive use of statistical methods.
- electronic nose