Discrimination of Retained Solvent Levels in Printed Food-Packaging Using Electronic Nose Systems
Van Deventer, David
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The expanding role of electronic nose instrumentation, as a quality-monitoring tool for food-packaging materials, is examined and reviewed. The food industry is interested in determining the applicability of using an electronic nose for odor analysis of retained printing solvent levels in packaging. Three electronic nose systems were optimized for this application and their performance assessed. These include the FOX 3000, the Cyranose 320, and the QMB6. Response surface methodology was used to generate 2nd order models of sensor response as a function of system and experimental parameters for the three electronic nose systems. Forty-seven of 50 sensor models generated were found to be significant at an a-level of 0.05. Optimum settings, that allowed adequate signals to be obtained for the full range of examined retained solvents levels, were selected for the remaining work using these models. Performance analyses of these systems, which use three leading sensor technologies, showed that the conducting polymer sensor technology demonstrated the most discriminatory power. All three technologies proved able to discriminate among different levels of retained solvents. Each complete electronic nose system was also able to discriminate between assorted packaging having either conforming or non-conforming levels of retained solvents. Each system correctly identified 100% of unknown samples. Sensor technology had a greater effect on performance than the number of sensors used. Based on discriminatory power and practical features, the FOX 3000 and the Cyranose 320 were superior. The results indicate that electronic nose instrumentation can be used as a complimentary discriminatory tool in quality control.
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