ASTM E679 - 04(2011)

    Standard Practice for Determination of Odor and Taste Thresholds By a Forced-Choice Ascending Concentration Series Method of Limits

    Active Standard ASTM E679 | Developed by Subcommittee: E18.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.08


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    Significance and Use

    Sensory thresholds are used to determine the potential of substances at low concentrations to impart odor, taste, skinfeel, etc. to some form of matter.

    Thresholds are used, for example, in setting limits for air pollution, in noise abatement, in water treatment, and in food systems.

    Thresholds are used to characterize and compare the sensitivity of individual or groups to given stimuli, for example, in medicine, in ethnic studies, and in the study of animal species.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice describes a rapid test for determining sensory thresholds of any substance in any medium.

    1.2 It prescribes an overall design of sample preparation and a procedure for calculating the results.

    1.3 The threshold may be characterized as being either (a) only detection (awareness) that a very small amount of added substance is present but not necessarily recognizable, or (b) recognition of the nature of the added substance.

    1.4 The medium may be a gas, such as air, a liquid, such as water or some beverage, or a solid form of matter. The medium may be odorless or tasteless, or may exhibit a characteristic odor or taste per se.

    1.5 This practice describes the use of a multiple forced-choice sample presentation method in an ascending concentration series, similar to the method of limits.

    1.6 Physical methods of sample presentation for threshold determination are not a part of this practice, and will depend on the physical state, size, shape, availability, and other properties of the samples.

    1.7 It is recognized that the degree of training received by a panel with a particular substance may have a profound influence on the threshold obtained with that substance (1).

    1.8 Thresholds determined by using one physical method of presentation are not necessarily equivalent to values obtained by another method.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1292 Test Method for Odor in Water

    E544 Practices for Referencing Suprathreshold Odor Intensity

    E1432 Practice for Defining and Calculating Individual and Group Sensory Thresholds from Forced-Choice Data Sets of Intermediate Size

    CEN Standards

    EN13725 Air Quality--Determination of Odour Concentration Using Dynamic Dilution Olfactometry

    ISO Standards

    ISO13301 Sensory Analysis--Methodology--General Guidance for Measuring Odour, Flavour and Taste Detection Thresholds by a Three Alternative Forced Choice (3-AFC) Procedure


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 67.240 (Sensory analysis)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E0679-04R11

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