ASTM Publishes New Guide on Odor Testing

The ASTM E18 Sensory Evaluation Committee published a new guidance document on odor testing protocols.

ASTM E3261-21, Standard Guide for Odor Evaluation of Products and Materials Under Controlled Conditions with Trained Panel, was officially published in September 2021.

“This guide is intended to become a reference document for other odor related ASTM methods. It provides a comprehensive source for practitioners in need of guidance in preparing and managing an odor testing sensory panel.”

~Task Group Chair and St. Croix Sensory Laboratory Director, Michael McGinley

The Summary of Guide section states: “Odor testing has many unique requirements for sensory assessment. This guide outlines proper assessor selection, training, protocols for odor testing including sample collection and preparation, and presentation methods spanning assessments from small jars to large chambers as well as olfactometer equipment and direct sniffing.”

There are many documents throughout several ASTM committees such as water, textiles, and building materials that address product and material odors, yet there was not one source of guidance related to conducting odor testing.

Examples of odor related methods published by ASTM:
ASTM C1304 Thermal Insulation Materials
ASTM D1292 Odor in Water
ASTM 1296 Odor of Volatile Solvents and Diluents
ASTM 4339 Odor of Adhesives
ASTM D6273 Natural Gas Odor Intensity
ASTM E1593 Malodor Reduction of Consumer Products

More information can be found at

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