Blabco Lab. Co.’s Flavor Testing

Manager: Sara R. Moen
Chemist: Fern S. Peterson
Hardware: Ross D. Meyer
Software: Ryan A. Huff
In the continuing struggle to create the best flavor experiment possible, our lab has been given the following objectives to:

1. How important is it to use a type 61 or type 62 card? It is important to have the CH3 region open in the fingerprint region?

2. Decide which flavors give the best IR spectra and thus should be used. Should this also be determined on the basis of smell and how can smell be incorporated in a future experiment?

3. What are the best flavors based on IR spectra and great smell? Should names or numbers be used in future experiments?

The Experiment

We began by running background spectra of just the type 61 cards labeled and dated for each of the samples. We then began the process of sample application. We also ran background spectra for the Teflon cards (type 62). The most time-consuming step is getting the sample to dry on the card while still getting enough sample on the card for a good signal.

Applying the sample

We found that, although it is easier to spot the sample with capillary tubes, this takes much longer to dry. With the cherry oil, we found that the sample separated on the card. This also occurred with the maple sample. For many of the runs, the sample had to be put on several times in layers. Chemist claims that anything that is colored brown does not dry. Very few of them don’t take long to dry. We found that the samples do not adhere to the Teflon cards.

Running the spectrum

We found that you need to save the background reference to the same drive (or in this case disk) as you plan on saving your sample spectra. The IR was extremely fussy about this. We later found that the computer will not allow you to change to the saved backgrounds with runs in between. This is to say that we would have to run the background, apply the sample, and then run the sample sequentially. This would take an enormous amount of time. Thus we are using the same background for each sample This also causes a problem, as there are two card style for type 61. The difference between the two is that one has a clear circle around the sample area and it seems to have a difference consistency. When wet, it looks like it has more of a grid on it than the others.

Data Analysis

We found that, since we used the same background for each sample, the spectrum came out slightly different depending on which style of card was used. We decided to look at the finger print region only, that being between 2000 and 400 cm-1. In the spectrum of the cards that differed from the style of the card for the background, extra peaks occurred in the regions of 1490 and 750 cm-1.

Results and Conclusion

We decided that the type 61 cards worked the best as far as sample application was concerned while the type 62 cards should be avoided. The CH3 region, located around 3200 cm-1, is not needed to detect the samples, as they show up more in the region of 2400 to 400 cm-1. The following spreadsheet shows which samples should be used and how well each sample behaved. This shows which samples have the best spectra. We decided that a known spectra for each sample used should be available in the experiment so as not to waste time and cards. As far as smell is concerned, this is rather arbitrary. One may give students a sample and ask them to identify it both by smell and by the corresponding spectra. Some samples are more difficult to identify by smell than others.

 

Sample #

Sample Name

Type?

Use?

1

Licorice

No

2

Lemon Oil

citrus/oil/fruit

No

3

Watermelon

fruit

Maybe

4

Root Beer

No

5

Strawberry

fruit

Yes

6

Pina Colada

fruit?

Yes

7

Chocolate

Yes

8

Wintergreen Oil

oil

No

9

Cherry

fruit

No

10

Clove Leaf Oil

oil

Yes

11

Coconut

fruit/oil

12

Maple

Yes

13

Banana Creme

No

14

Anise Oil

oil

No

15

Orange Oil

citrus/oil/fruit

No

16

Cinnamon Oil

oil

Yes

17

Butter Rum

Maybe

18

Vanilla Butternut

Maybe

19

Apricot

fruit

Yes

 

 

Disclaimer