ASTM E544 Intensity Standard revision approved

ASTM E544    The ASTM International Standard Practice for evaluation of odor intensity with n-butanol reference has been revised and published in October 2018 as ASTM E544-18.

   The ASTM Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation of Materials and Products has recently published a revision of ASTM E544. A few major edits were made, but basic principles of the method remained unchanged.

   ASTM E544 was first published in 1975 as a method to evaluate odor intensity utilizing references as anchors on the scale. N-butanol was chosen and utilized as the reference scale due to its availability and generally neutral hedonic tone (not overly pleasant or unpleasant). The standard practice allows for two methods for a reference scale: 1) static and 2) dynamic. The static method utilizes specific aqueous solutions of n-butanol in jars or flask for the assessors to reference. The dynamic method allows for use of an olfactometer device to present reference concentrations of n-butanol in air.

   Mr. McGinley is the Laboratory Director of St. Croix Sensory, an odor evaluation laboratory in Minnesota, U.S.A. He received his Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota (1995) and a Master of Health Science from The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (1997). Since 1997, Michael has managed product and material sensory testing at St. Croix Sensory. He is involved in many industry organizations, including serving as current Chair of the Household and Personal Care Products Subcommittee of the ASTM International E18 Sensory Evaluation Committee.


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