Advertisement

Identification and characterisation of odorants in a squishy toy using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry after thermal extraction

  • Christoph Wiedmer
  • Andrea BuettnerEmail author
Communication

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Gas chromatography olfactometry (GC-O) Products of daily use Off-odour Plastic Toys 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

References

  1. 1.
    Bendstrup Klinke H, Lange Winther Lund B, Ryom Villadsen S, Woldum Tordrup S, Tang Kristensen G, Bo Larsen P. Analysis and risk assessment of fragrances and other organic substances in squishy toys. 2018. https://www2.mst.dk/Udgiv/publications/2018/08/978-87-93710-64-1.pdf. Accessed 07.01.2019.
  2. 2.
    Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark. Popular toy full of dangerous chemicals. 2018. https://en.mfvm.dk/news/news/nyhed/popular-toy-full-of-dangerous-chemicals/. Accessed 07.01.2019.
  3. 3.
    Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). Chemicals are not the only danger caused by Squishies toys – keep out of reach of small children. 2018. https://tukes.fi/en/article/-/asset_publisher/kemikaalit-eivat-ole-squishies-lelujen-ainoa-vaara-poista-pienten-ulottuvilta. Accessed 07.01.2019.
  4. 4.
    van Den Dool H, Dec. Kratz P. A generalization of the retention index system including linear temperature programmed gas—liquid partition chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 1963;11:463–71.  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0021-9673(01)80947-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nilsson NH, Malmgren-Hansen B, Bernth N, Pedersen E, Pommer K. Survey and health assesment of chemicals substances in sex toys. 2006. http://www2.mst.dk/udgiv/publications/2006/87-7052-227-8/pdf/87-7052-228-6.pdf.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Svendsen N, Pedersen SF, Hansen OC, Pedersen E, Bernth N. Survey and release of chemical substances in “slimy” toys. 2005. http://www2.mst.dk/Udgiv/publications/2006/87-7052-013-5/pdf/87-7052-014-3.pdf.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tirendi S, Geiss O, Barrero-Moreno J, Kotzias D. Chemical emissions from toys – the case of stink blasters. Int J Environ Anal Chem. 2009;89(8–12):929–38.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03067310802570959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wiedmer C, Velasco-Schön C, Buettner A. Characterization of odorants in inflatable aquatic toys and swimming learning devices—which substances are causative for the characteristic odor and potentially harmful? Anal Bioanal Chem. 2017;409(16):3905–16.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-017-0330-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Husko Z. Screening handelsüblicher Bedarfsgegenstände und Spielzeuge auf Kunststoff-Basis auf geruchsaktive Begleitsubstanzen mittels gaschromatisch-olfaktometrischer Methoden. 2012.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Belitz H-D, Grosch W, Schieberle P. Lehrbuch der Lebensmittelchemie. 6th ed. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag; 2008.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dodson RE, Nishioka M, Standley LJ, Perovich LJ, Brody JG, Rudel RA. Endocrine disruptors and asthma-associated chemicals in consumer products. Environ Health Perspect. 2012;120(7):935–43.  https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Masuck I, Hutzler C, Luch A. Investigations on the emission of fragrance allergens from scented toys by means of headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A. 2010;1217(18):3136–43.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2010.02.072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Masuck I, Hutzler C, Luch A. Screening of fragrances in scented toys: a comparative study of different headspace techniques coupled to GC-MS. Anal Methods. 2013;5(2):508–15.  https://doi.org/10.1039/c2ay26209f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    European Commission. Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures. 2008. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32008R1272&from=en.
  15. 15.
    Choi H, Schmidbauer N, Sundell J, Hasselgren M, Spengler J, Bornehag C-G. Common household chemicals and the allergy risks in pre-school age children. PLoS One. 2010;5(10):e13423.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0013423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Chair of Aroma and Smell Research, Emil Fischer CenterFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Department Sensory AnalyticsFraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVVFreisingGermany

Personalised recommendations