Odour Detection Threshold Determination of Volatile Compounds in Topical Skin Formulations

Birgitte Raagaard Thomsen, Grethe Hyldig, Robert Taylor, P. Blenkiron, Charlotte Jacobsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Several studies have shown that lipid oxidation can occur in topical skin formulations, but the impact of the individual volatile compounds on off-odour has not yet been determined. In this study, lipid oxidation was investigated in prototype skin care formulations. Firstly, lipid oxidation volatile compounds that increased in concentration during storage were identified. The results showed that the concentration of six volatile compounds increased above previously reported odour detection threshold values in water. These volatile compounds were selected for odour detection threshold value determination and also odour description by a trained sensory panel.

In one case, the odour detection threshold value was 50 times higher (less detectable) in skin care products than in water, whereas for other volatile compounds the odour detection threshold value was only 1.5 times higher. The odour description of the volatile compounds was, in most cases, different from that reported in literature. The observed differences are hypothesised to be due to a masking effect of the base odour of the skin care product(s), a volatile-retaining power of the base matrix and to a cocktail effect of the combined odours from different volatile oxidation products.

Practical applications: In this study, the impact of volatile compounds on off-odour was explored in prototype skin care formulations. The odour detection threshold value and odour description were determined for butanal, pentanal, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 2-ethyl furan, 2-pentyl furan and 1-heptanol in prototype skin care formulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1700231
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Issue number5
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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