Description of Industry

The environmental industry is affected by a very broad spectrum of odors that range from agriculture to work place environment.   Environmental firms are often the first consultants contacted regarding odor problems for facilities, landfills, and individual cities. Eventually, after spending thousands of dollars attempting to mitigate an odor problem through traditional methods, a company specialized in the nuances of aroma chemistry such as Volatile has to be engaged to solve the problem. This is due most importantly because many odorous chemicals are not visible on a chromatogram with standard GC-MS.  Volatile provides the special skills and instrumentation needed to solve these type problems.


Applicable Services

What we do

Environmental testing laboratories are experts at their trade.   VAC works alongside these experts providing odor chemistry expertise and techniques to solve odor problems.

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.

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 GC-MS 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. Read more about our GC-MS/O Odor Analysis service by clicking HERE.

Quantitative Chemical Analysis

Accurately and precisely measuring what chemical, and how much is present, are the goals of quantitative chemical analysis. VAC utilizes state of the art GC-MS and GC-MS-MS to provide the most accurate volatile chemical measurement capabilities available anywhere. To learn more about this process click HERE. Want to begin a project immediately? Go to our On-Demand tool HERE.

Odor Baseline Establishment

Baseline GC-MS/O measurements have proved extremely helpful to our clients because they establish the aroma and chemical profile of a product considered good.  When odor problems arise new GC-MS/O analyses can rapidly determine what chemical changes occurred compared with a product considered good to allow for production process examination and off odor mitigation. For more on this service click HERE.

Odor Strategy Development

Strategies depend on variables such as the state of material (liquid, solid, gas), chemical type of suspected odorant (some chemicals must be treated different due to unique characteristics), quantity of material available, accuracy of odor descriptors, to name a few.

Based on answers to an initial questionnaire we will utilize the most appropriate and advanced scientific techniques and instruments currently available to detect and measure volatile chemicals responsible for odor. To find out more about our Odor Strategy Development service click HERE.

Related News, Case Studies, and Blog Posts

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 a nice fresh floral smell, like that of a rose, only the rose aroma originates from a batch of freshly roasted pecans.  The rose aroma doesn’t belong there.  It detracts from the richness of deep, warm, roasted pecan aroma. Many off-odor projects we tackle at Volatile Analysis involve issues akin to that of rose-pecan.  Aroma chemistry tells us one very common fragrant molecule that has an aroma similar to rose is...

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 280oC for 3 minutes inside a thermal desorption unit (TDU). The TDU transfer temp was 280oC and operated in splitless mode with purge time 1.00min. The target volatile generated during thermal desorption of Twister bar were swept onto a cryo-cooled (LN2) inlet liner at -90oC (CIS4 liner in split mode 20:1). The liner contained glass beads for increased adsorption. The liner was heated to 280oC for 3min and volatiles were...

Statistics of Sensory Assessment: Cohen’s Kappa

Statistics of Sensory Using people as diagnostic sensors produces more variation than instrumental methods. There are situations where the benefits of human-based measures outweigh their inconsistency. This is particularly true for aromas and flavors. Choosing, training and aligning panelists is a big investment. If sensory activities are key to your business success, you need to know how well your system is performing. Evaluating sensory judge quality can be challenging. Between-judge agreement appears simple, yet it is critical to success. Cohen's Kappa One approach to evaluating agreement involves Cohen’s Kappa. For example, the judges measure a set of standards for intensity, using four levels. The collected impressions are then compared. A Kappa table looks like...
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