Many modern products contain adhesives. At times, however, offensive or even irritating odors are reported to emanate either from the adhesive itself or when being applied to a product, often after further processing or storage. Such smells have been rarely investigated, most likely due to the fact that solvents and other primary components of the adhesive are typically assumed to be the source of this smell. Our research on odorous contaminants in the field of non-food materials and consumer goods, as well as packaging material demonstrates that negative odorous effects are often associated with trace contaminants that are of very high odor potency. These may stem from adhesives, binder or other additives such as pigments so that resolution of the causative constituents is, at times, a major challenge. Due to the partial occurrence of such odorous contaminants at trace levels in the products, targeted and specialized odorant analytics are required for resolution of their chemical structures. In order to establish a better understanding of the causative odorants in adhesives, a combination of sensory evaluation and modern odorant analytical tools, namely two-dimensional gas chromatography mass spectrometry/olfactrometry was used in the course of the present study to resolve the smell on a molecular basis.
Andrea Buettner, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuernberg, Emil Fischer Center, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Germany