Electronic nose



The electronic nose is constituted by the following units:

  • Sampling system of the volatile fraction
  • An array of ten different sensors based on metal oxides
  • Enrichment/desorption system
  • Readout electronics, control and signal conditioning
  • Data Analysis Software The electronic nose is an analytical tool consisting of a network of chemical sensors and software for data processing.

The sensor array simulates the operation of the receptors of the human nose while the data processing system those of the brain. The electronic nose is able to characterize and store the olfactory footprint of an odorous mixture without going into details of its chemical composition. Therefore, if trained for an adequate period of time, it can detect an odor already present in its archive. The system can be used for rapid applications of quality control in the chemical and food industry. Other applications are possible in the environmental and medical fields. The advantage of this equipment is the objectivity of the data that does not require human presence. The final result is an overall assessment of the mixture of odors, not limited to the single compound. The data processing is done through algorithms that allow to choose the information coming from different sensors, to assimilate the different responses and, therefore, to instruct the electronic nose. This learning phase generates an archive that is of fundamental importance to be able to compare the gaseous mixtures under study.




  • Verification of compliance with the statutory regulations
  • Checking of safety  and nutritional quality of the food
  • Checking of parameters (time, temperature, energy) of the technological processes that can affect the quality of the product
  • Checking authenticity of the products
  • Shelf life
  • Freshness
  • Rancidity
  • Extraneous smells.


  • Environmental monitoring to detect unwanted leakage of volatile compounds in the environment.



Change of conductivity induced by surface reactions due to adsorption of gas.



Additional Info

  • Time required for a measurement cycle: 1 min
  • Response time of the sensors: 1 s
  • Temperature range: 5 ÷ 40 °C
  • Humidity range: 5 ÷ 95% U.R.
  • Sampling flow: 10 ÷ 400 ml/min
  • Sensitivity (for organic solvents): 1 ppm
  • Location: Laboratory of sensory characterization - ProdAl

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