Identification and characterisation of odorants in a squishy toy using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry after thermal extraction
Soft, squashable toys known as squishies have become increasingly popular amongst children. In this study, one such toy was evaluated sensorially by a trained panel and analytically using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry (GC-MS/O) after thermal extraction of the sample. Sensory analysis revealed the presence of an intense and unpleasant odour exhibited by the sample. The smell was dominated by almond- and inflatable swimming aid-like, as well as malty and glue-like notes, but also pleasant odours that were described as caramel-like and coconut-like. GC-MS/O analysis identified 2-butoxyethanol, cyclohexanone, γ-nonalactone, and ethyl maltol as being the main causative substances for the overall odour of the product. The data additionally indicated that the pleasant smelling substances γ-nonalactone (coconut-like smell) and ethyl maltol (caramel-like smell) were intentionally added by the manufacturer to mask the unpleasant odour of the solvents.
KeywordsGas chromatography olfactometry (GC-O) Products of daily use Off-odour Plastic Toys
The authors would like to thank Martina Schuster and Johannes Thürmer for discussions on this topic and for providing the sample.
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was conducted in agreement with the Declaration of Helsinki. The study (registration number 180_16B) was approved by the Ethical Committee of the Medical Faculty, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. Informed consent was obtained from all subjects participating in the study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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