Electronic Nose
Marco Arezio - Consulente materie plastiche - Electronic Nose for Analytical Evaluation of Odors in Recycled Plastics


Recycled materials, which are raw materials from waste sorting , in their various states of life (loose, bales, ground, granules), or the final product , created through the recycling processes, can bring with them gradients and types of odors that can be more or less unpleasant to the operators or end customers.

The sensation of acceptance or not of the smell is completely subjective and depends on an infinite series of sensory evaluations: what for me could be an acceptable smell, for the customer could be an unbearable home.

The human nose is sensitive, but different between person and person in intercepting odors and, above all, it is unable to accurately catalog an equal level of odorous compounds, nor the repetition of the intensity of the odors it intercepts .

What a company produces, in terms of smell on a product, whether it is a raw material or a finished element, must be cataloged in a completely analytical way , without approximation, to determine standards that can be accepted by both the producer and the customer, so that all subsequent productions can fall within the established ranges.

Defining and being able to replicate a range of odors accepted by the parties is not only an increase in the quality service of the product itself and of the company, but also a guarantee towards the end customer who can reasonably know that odor intensity can be cataloged and managed exactly.

Let's see some examples where an "electronic nose" can make the difference:

The producers of PET trays , receiving the recycled granule or ground, can analytically evaluate the odor intensity of the raw material and give the producer himself some standards not to be exceeded to avoid problems on the trays in the distribution chain.

Manufacturers of beverages in PET bottles can establish with certainty not only the maximum odor levels accepted on the raw material, but they can establish whether the product contained in the bottles can undergo transfers by the plastic bottle of odorous substances that can affect the quality of their product.

Producers of raw materials can establish with their customers the maximum odor ranges acceptable to both, through an analytical analysis of the material first sold in order to ensure a reliable product quality.

The manufacturers of bottles for detergents , for care and for perfumed liquids need to purchase recycled raw material in HDPE that has an odor content coming from the surfactants such that they do not interact negatively with the final packaging on the shelves of the shops or can alter the fragrance of the liquids or powders contained.

Manufacturers of furniture or packaging for industrial logistics who use PP, HDPE and LDPE from post consumption, they must be able to establish with certainty the incidence of the odors of the raw materials they buy, in order to establish limits that cannot negatively affect the final product they distribute.

We could continue to cite other examples in which the lack of a certain classification of odors can often lead to the dispute of the materials, with considerable costs and degeneration of customer-supplier relationships.

Through the use of an odorous substance analyzer (electronic nose) , which is a laboratory machine that uses material samples first or pieces of final products, then in the form of granules, ground, liquid, etc ..., subsequently heated, creating volatile substances inside the test tube, to then be chemically analyzed and compared, through an analysis program, thus creating a precise picture of types and intensities.

The electronic nose allows you to compare even samples defined as standard and therefore accepted by the parties, with the various samples of subsequent productions in order to intercept the deviations and immediately evaluate corrections productive.

The results of the analyzes return a precise photograph , not only of the odor intensity, but also of the types of chemical compounds present in the samples that produce the odor mix, so as to be able to intervene in a precise and timely manner.

The electronic nose that analyzes, in an analytical way the odors or perfumes of the volatile substances contained in the products, is also used in the food sector to unmask food sophistications such as, for example , those of olive oil, to check the compositions of coffee, to evaluate the freshness of foods or the transfer of substances contained in the packaging to foods.

If you want more information on the equipment for the analytical evaluation of odors or a quote write us without obligation.

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