Sensory packaging analysis evaluates the perceived quality of a product, considering olfactory and gustatory aspects that affect the consumer’s experience.
Packaging materials can “contaminate” food by transferring substances which can occur either by direct contact with the packaging material or indirectly through the headspace of the packaging.
This can lead to produce strange olfactory and gustatory sensations in the packaged food.
Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food states that “any material intended to come into contact directly or indirectly with food must be sufficiently inert to preclude […] a deterioration in its organoleptic properties”.
At AIMPLAS, we therefore work with standard UNE-ISO 13302, which establishes the methods for ensuring that food’s smell and taste sensations are not significantly modified under certain storage conditions that involve contact with the packaging material (time, temperature and form of contact).
What does sensory analysis involve?
Standard UNE-ISO 13302 includes two complementary tests that are not mutually exclusive:
- Assessment of the inherent odour of the packaging material under test (odour test), in which the packaging is stored in a container in controlled conditions and the odour of the atmosphere in the container is then evaluated using sensory analysis methods.
- Assessment of the change in flavour of food after direct or indirect contact with the packaging material under test in actual conditions or in simulated conditions (contact test). In this case, the food, or failing that, the simulant, is assessed using sensory analysis methods in terms of changes in odour and smell and taste sensations.