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Reference: Discrimination of Complex Odor Mixtures- A Study Using Wine Aroma Models
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There are key unanswered questions when it comes to odor mixture discrimination. This study was designed to assess one of those questions regarding configural odor mixture discrimination in humans. We collected data to address the following two questions: 1) What factors do humans notice when attempting to discriminate between subtly different odor mixtures? 2) Are odor mixtures easier to discriminate when an odorant is added, compared to when a component is removed? Using modern flavor chemistry techniques, an odor mixture resembling a Riesling wine was constructed. This wine odor mixture was modified using a homologous series of 3 esters, varying in chain length, which are commonly found in white wines. A sequence of discrimination tasks for the addition / subtraction of modifiers to the base wine at different concentrations were employed to gauge the discriminatory ability of the participants. The concentration of a modifying odorant appears to be a key factor in discrimination. As concentration of the modifying odorant was increased, discrimination of odor mixtures was first reported because of changes in odor mixture familiarity. Humans show similar sensitivity to odor mixture discrimination regardless of addition or subtraction of modifying compounds, and this study shows that human odor mixture discrimination is driven by changes in odor quality. Additionally, we find that evidence pattern completion may not be the only mechanism favoring perceptual stability in olfactory processing, especially in the presence of chemesthetic and visual information.

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Academic association dedicated to vine, grape and wine sciences publishing open access scientific articles

Publication Details

Published: 2020
Publication: PsyArXiv Reprints
Issue: 2020 Online July 2020
Author: Luckett C 2020


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