Get a whiff of this! A new research partnership at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is using beams of chilled neutrons to determine how aroma compounds are embedded into assortments of other chemicals that carry and release fragrances in perfumes, detergents and other scented products.
Securing the elusive structural details could lead to what might be termed an “odor of magnitude” improvement in models for predicting interactions between fragrances and their molecular carriers. The cooperative project involves researchers from International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), based in New York City, and NIST.
Besides contributing in other ways to product performance, carrier molecules band together and enwrap fragrance ingredients. IFF Associate Research Fellow Chii-Fen Wang likens the structural arrangement to an onion. “We want to determine where the fragrance compound is located in the onion—in the center, for example, or in a particular layer—and how the structure of the compound changes,” she explains.
Mark Bello | NIST
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