Anton Steeman

January 30, 2014

3 Min Read
Weight Management by Olfactory Packaging Technology

What people think they taste is solely the result of inhaling odours. The tongue recognises only the five basic taste varieties. All other tastes are the result of odours. Odours enter, to put it simply, the nostril to the nasal cavity, where they are detected by the olfactory receptors and after that translated by the brain into tastes. The person gets the perception that the aroma he smells will be the taste he is ready to experience.

90555-FAT-GIRL-large_20photo_20Time-AFP.jpgThe olfactory packaging refers to the packaging which activates the sense of smell. Stirring these emotional senses, mainly in the cosmetic branch, might have as goal seducing the consumer to buy. For the food industry, however, it’s of more interest that a pre-programmed form can initiate an aroma improvement leading to a better taste of the product to be consumed.

Some time ago, the Natick Soldier Center, the research institute of the US Army, always in the frontlines of new technologies, initiated a study to improve the ration of Soldier Joe by encapsulating flavours, which are released as the ration is opened in the field.

With the Encapsulated Aroma Release technology, flavours are encapsulated in the structure of the polymers or polyesters during extrusion or (injection)blow-moulding. The flavours will be released at a pre-programmed moment, entering the food and improving the taste profile. As a consequence the food smells and tastes better when the package is opened.

It is getting even more interesting. As weight management has become a dominating area of interest for food manufacturers with companies looking for any potential solution to boost satiety amidst growing scrutiny of the use of health claims in markets like the EU, scented packaging may have the possibility to play a role in helping consumers to execute a weight management program.

60705-microwave_clamshell.jpgAccording to a study published in the Australian Journal of Dairy Technology*), sensory satiation is probably one of the most important factors in meal termination. The study, conducted by R.M.A.J. Ruijschop and colleagues of the NIZO Food Research in the Netherlands, is cautious in its conclusions, but certainly opens a large window to the possibilities of controlling obesity through the Encapsulated Aroma Release technology.

Caution is required as Ruijschop states that although the research links aroma in food products to potential satiety benefits, the findings had not been extended specifically to scented packaging. He therefore urges caution to any possible link between pack aromas and weight control, saying it did not have research to either support or disprove such claims.

It’s up to the food industry in general and the “Encapsulated Aroma Release technology” companies like Eastman Chemicals and ScentSational Technologies to pick-up on the results of this study.

90533-Clear_20Scented_20Box_20Series_20-_20Transparent_20Packaging_20Inc.jpgTalking about scented packaging, up till now, it’s the cosmetic industry, using scented packages to seduce the consumer to buy its products. Canadian company Transparent Packaging Inc., a pioneer in clear folding carton converting technologies, introduces the Clear Scented Box, adding fragrances to packaging graphics, that not only allows consumers to see the product, but also entices the consumer to pick the product up off the shelf to smell it. …. continue readingRelated article: “Olfactory to improve taste

*) “Induction of satiation via aroma in dairy products” Australian Journal of Dairy Technology, 2009;64(1 Sp. Iss.):50-53).

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