Have you ever wondered about the mysterious smells surrounding us in indoor spaces? From the pleasant fragrance of freshly baked goods to the unpleasant stench of certain chemicals, odours play a significant role in our perception of indoor air quality. The German Committee on Indoor Guide Values (AIR) of the Ministry of Environment of Germany has delved into the science behind these odours and has published a final report on Odour perception thresholds for 20 Indoor pollutants in July.

   The ambitious project encompassed the evaluation of odour detection thresholds, odour intensities, and hedonic tone for 20 chosen substances present in ambient air. The substances ranged from familiar ones like acetone and acetic acid to less common compounds such as benzothiazole and ε-caprolactam. The idea was to gather more information to determine health risks of these substances.

   The ASTM E3000 standard (Standard Guide for Measuring and Tracking Performance of Assessors on a Descriptive Sensory Panel) was published in 2018. The ASTM E3000 focused on measuring performance, but there was a need to work on a new guideline with more details on giving feedback to sensory assessors. This is the reason why the new ASTM E3313-23 is here.

   The standard acknowledges that the skill of giving feedback to sensory assessors is typically acquired through practical experience. Thus, ASTM E3313 is a resource for panel leaders, offering insights and recommendations on various aspects of feedback delivery. It covers different types of feedback, suggests appropriate timing for providing feedback, emphasizes effective delivery methods, and emphasizes the alignment of feedback with performance expectations. The goal is to create a collaborative environment that fosters constructive feedback exchanges between assessors and panel leaders.

   The Dutch standard NTA 9065 on Odour Measurement and Calculation was first published in 2012. Now 11 years later, the updated version of this standard has been published. The text provides requirements and instructions for the standard procedure for conducting odour testing in the Netherlands.

   This standard has been divided into 2 parts: The NTA 9065-1 'Design, execution and reporting of odour studies' and NTA 9065-2 'Sampling and analysis', which is an update of the recently approved EN 13725:2022 with further info for practitioners in the Netherlands.

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