Research & Development >> Problem Solving & Special Investigations >> Off-Flavor and Off-Odor

Off-Flavor, Off-Odor, Flavor Scalping Investigations

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Science at Your Service

Science at Your Service

Investigative problem solving when you need it most.

Aroma and flavor are crucial components to the overall customer appeal of a product. Detected off notes can result in customer complaints while the origins of these issues can range from process deviations, packaging failures, production mishaps, or ingredient failures. With over 100 years of combined experience Eurofins S-F Analytical (ESFA) scientists are skilled, adept, and experienced in analytically providing a tailored solution to help understand organoleptic inconsistencies utilizing several novel scientific techniques.

Common off-flavor/off-odor symptoms:

  • Vinegar-like smells
  • Chemical aroma
  • Sulfur-like smells
  • Flavor and aroma absorptions artificial
  • Plastic off-taste

Common causes for off-flavor/off-odor problems:

  • Flavor scalping – loss of quality of a packaged goods due to volatile flavors being absorbed by packaging or the item absorbs undesirable flavors from its packaging.
  • Spoilage
  • Product formulation interactions
  • Introduction of new vendors and ingredients
  • Packaging failures/changes including unintended reactions with packaging surfaces, coatings, adhesives
  • Production issues/changes
  • Warehouse and transportation storage issues including temperature abuse, excursions

Eurofins' Scientific Approach

Eurofins works with food, beverage, and ingredient manufacturers to identify the source of off-flavor/off-odor by utilizing the latest scientific advancements. Specifically, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), a powerful technique that is considered the industry flagship approach for the analysis of volatile profiles. Coupled with GC-MS, solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) offers increased sensitivity and selectivity for volatile analysis. The identification of off-odor compounds is done through a comparison of the profile of a control sample to that of a suspect sample. With a spectral library of over 300,000 volatile compounds including NIST and Wiley Flavors & Fragrances library, ESFA is well-positioned to help provide a solution to your off-flavor or off-odor issue!


Off-flavor and off-odor issues can damage your brand reputation and even result in recall. Watch our webinar to learn how Eurofins uses gas chromatography with mass spectral detection (GC-MS) to provide solutions for off-flavors, off-odors, and flavor scalping caused by improper product packaging, or production or transportation issues.

This white paper explores off-flavor and odor investigations performed by Eurofins SFA. Authored by Eurofins' scientist Jamie Willems Ph.D.

Let's find your solution.