Description of Industry

The beverage industry is extremely diverse regarding the types of chemicals important to a flavor or aroma: wine, coffee, beer, fruit juices, soft drinks, whiskey, spring water, tea.  The presence of one off-odor chemical with a low odor threshold can completely destroy beverage value.


Applicable Services

What we do

We are experts in odor analysis and trace level chemical detection and measurement.  Both odor analysis and chemical detection are utilized when we employ gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/ olfactometry.   We also employ expert experimental design, sample prep measures, and statistical analyses to ensure appropriate scientific rigor.

Odor Analysis GC-MS/O

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry provides the very best technique to quickly resolve off-odor issues.  This method requires a trained odor judge to sniff GC effluent and rate odor character and intensity.  This information is coupled by retention time automatically via software to GCMS chromatogram data to allow for rapid odor identification.   Our sensory and analytical team have more than 20 years experience with odor, analytical, and organic chemistry, and sensory analysis.

Quantitative Chemical Analysis

The goal of quantitative analysis is to accurately and precisely measure the amount of a chemical (the target chemical is also called analyte).  Quantitative analysis typically involves developing a calibration curve that contains a plot of standard chemical quantity vs. peak area.  Based on the unknown chemical peak area the concentration may be calculated.

Odor Complaint Mitigation

Our team has the capability to provide a rapid and accurate response to your odor problem. We employ the latest in scientific instrumentation plus our team has more than 20 years experience with odor chemistry and analytical measurement.

Odor Investigation

We utilize the most advanced scientific techniques and instruments currently available to detect and measure volatile chemicals responsible for odor.  We utilize gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/ olfactometry  to quickly determine what retention index values from a chromatogram correspond with odor.  This capability dramatically improves our capability to identify trace level chemicals responsible for off-odors.

Expert Witness Support

Odor detection and measurement, and sensory interpretation are our specialties. Our team of experts are highly qualified to participate as legal consultants and expert witnesses. VAC staff contains three Ph.D. scientists each with over 20 years experience.

Odor Claim Support

In order to support a claim, experimental results be accurate and reproducible.  Because we employ state of the art instrumental methods and accepted sensory analysis protocol, we can apply the necessary scientific rigor to test claims.  Additionally our scientist publish in peer reviewed journals and present at national and international scientific meetings.  We have the clout and know how to provide expert support.

Related News, Case Studies, and Blog Posts

Food and Beverage Odor Amelioration Efficacy

Measuring the effect of odor ameliorating “actives” in foods: Aqueous solutions that contained food related odors identified as commercially important were treated separately with ameliorating substances. How well the added substances worked to decrease odor in a model solution was...

Carbonated beverage sulfur off-odor

A sulfur off-odor was reported in specific lots of diet cola. The client was unable to successfully identify the chemical nature of the odorant and samples were sent to VAC for further analysis. Upon receipt at the VAC lab, sulfur...

Measurement of Organic Impurities in Water

Approximately 10g of liquid sample (sample A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J) were placed in 40mL clear vials and limonene was extracted using SBSE, or Twister, at room temperature for 90min. Twisters were heated to...

What is Off-Odor?

What is off-odor?  The true answer is you’ll know it when you smell it!  Doesn’t have to stink like dead fish or 2 week old ground beef left in the refrigerator, although those certainly are obnoxious.  Off-odor can be...
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