Over the years, EnvironOdour has cumulated many years’ experience in managing sensory panellists. The panellists are normally selected from local residents and university students. All participants are initially trained and screened before qualifying as odour panellists. Those with a normal sense of smell are given the sensory evaluation procedure following the sensory analysis standard (ISO 8586:2012(E), Sensory analysis — General guidelines for the selection, training and monitoring of selected assessors and expert sensory assessors). Initially, their sensory performances are acquired through three butanol screening sessions. This is achieved by presenting the standard odorant, butanol, using the DynaScent olfactometer. Their last ten individual threshold estimates for the butanol are used to calculate the mean and the standard deviation. The mean represents the individual odour sensitivity and must be in the butanol odour threshold range (20 – 80 ppb). The standard deviation represents the sensitivity variation and must be less than 2.3. Furthermore, the individual odour estimates should be routinely monitored at the beginning of each panel session and is then calculated from at least 10 and at most 20 most recent results.
The DynaScent olfactometer software is able to track each panellist’s sensory performance on the basis of built in database (see the figure below).
Individual panellist performance