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Sensory Evaluation Committee Seeking Participation in Development of Odor/Taste Transfer Standard

When diners complain that their meals taste like plastic, this can literally be true, as it is generally acknowledged that the packaging of a food product can negatively affect its flavor. Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation of Materials and Products is tackling this problem with a new draft standard, tentatively titled Test Method for Odor and/or Taste Transfer from Rigid Polymeric Packaging.

Subcommittee E18.05 on Sensory Applications — General invites participation from all parties interested in the development of the new standard. The focus of this test method is the evaluation of molded polymer in terms of its perceived odor and the transfer of package-related odors or flavors, or both, to the food being packaged. The subcommittee has already published a standard that deals with odor/taste transfer—ASTM E 1870, Test Method for Odor and Taste Transfer from Polymeric Packaging Film—but the new one is the first that deals with rigid containers and closures.

According to Patricia A. Keane, principal scientist, sensory technology unit, TIAX LLC, the new standard will be useful to polymer producers, converters and end-users. “The method can be used as a screening test for assessing the impact of packaging or as part of a total quality assurance program,” says Keane. “Information from the tests will also be useful for investigating the origin of transferred tastes or odors.”

For further technical information, contact Patricia A. Keane, TIAX LLC, Cambridge, Mass. (phone: 617/498-5124). Committee E18 meets Oct. 12-15 in Santa Rosa, Calif. For membership or meeting details, contact Scott Orthey, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9730). //

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