Sensors 2011, 11(2), 1405-1417; doi:10.3390/s110201405
Article

The Averaging Effect of Odorant Mixing as Determined by Air Dilution Sensory Tests: A Case Study on Reduced Sulfur Compounds

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Received: 14 December 2010; in revised form: 5 January 2011 / Accepted: 20 January 2011 / Published: 26 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct and Indirect Sensing of Odor and VOCs and Their Control)
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Abstract: To learn more about the effects of mixing different odorants, a series of air dilution sensory (ADS) tests were conducted using four reduced sulfur compounds [RSC: hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methanethiol (CH3SH), dimethylsulfide (DMS), and dimethyldisulfide (DMDS)] at varying concentration levels. The tests were initially conducted by analyzing samples containing single individual RSCs at a wide range of concentrations. The resulting data were then evaluated to define the empirical relationship for each RSC between the dilution-to-threshold (D/T) ratio and odor intensity (OI) scaling. Based on the relationships defined for each individual RSC, the D/T ratios were estimated for a synthetic mixture of four RSCs. The effect of mixing was then examined by assessing the relative contribution of each RSC to those estimates with the aid of the actually measured D/T values. This stepwise test confirmed that the odor intensity of the synthetic mixture is not governed by the common theoretical basis (e.g., rule of additivity, synergism, or a stronger component model) but is best represented by the averaged contribution of all RSC components. The overall results of this study thus suggest that the mixing phenomenon between odorants with similar chemical properties (like RSC family) can be characterized by the averaging effect of all participants.
Keywords: human sensing; odor mixing; threshold; hydrogen sulfide; methanethiol; dilution-to-threshold (D/T) ratio
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, K.-H. The Averaging Effect of Odorant Mixing as Determined by Air Dilution Sensory Tests: A Case Study on Reduced Sulfur Compounds. Sensors 2011, 11, 1405-1417.

AMA Style

Kim K-H. The Averaging Effect of Odorant Mixing as Determined by Air Dilution Sensory Tests: A Case Study on Reduced Sulfur Compounds. Sensors. 2011; 11(2):1405-1417.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kim, Ki-Hyun. 2011. "The Averaging Effect of Odorant Mixing as Determined by Air Dilution Sensory Tests: A Case Study on Reduced Sulfur Compounds." Sensors 11, no. 2: 1405-1417.


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