Limitations in the use of odor activity values to determine important odorants in foods

Valérie Audouin, Florence Bonnet, Zata M. Vickers, Gary A. Reineccius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to investigate if OAVs are appropriate tools for predicting the perceived intensity of odorants and their contribution to the overall aroma. Two similar studies with two sensory panels were conducted. The detection thresholds and the relation of perceived intensity to concentration of several aroma compounds were determined. The threshold values of these compounds were different but varied considerably among and within individuals. The steepness of the slopes and shapes of the odor intensity functions were different for the odorants. A consequence of this was that the OAVs (ratio of the concentration of an odorant to its threshold concentration) for the panels were not useful measures of intensities. In a final experiment, we had subjects rate the contribution of two compounds to the overall intensity of a binary mixture. The OAVs were not good indicators of the percent contribution to the overall intensity of a mixture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-171
Number of pages16
JournalACS Symposium Series
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


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