Wood and its sensory properties

Wood is a raw material that has a great many different uses. People come into contact with wood every day, for example as flooring, pieces of furniture, spoons for cooking, and pencils. Wood is also used to bring out the aroma of wine and spirits. The characteristic odor of wood and wood products has, however, been little researched to date.

The Fraunhofer IVV is therefore investigating the different odorants that are naturally present in wood. To do this we are employing advanced odorant-analytical methods that are already established in the area of food science. A large number of substances with widely varying structures have already been identified, including new odors which up until now were not known to be present in wood.

We are also analyzing the odor of secondary wood products such as cellulose fibers and cardboard and consumer goods made of wood. Of particular interest is which odorants from natural wood transfer into those secondary products, in order to be able to deliberately enhance specific wood odors during its processing or to reduce off-odors. Using advanced analytical and human-sensory methods we are therefore beginning to understand the familiar and often valued odor of wood.


Publications: Schreiner L., Bauer P., Buettner A. Resolving the smell of wood - identification of odour-active compounds in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Scientific Reports, 2018
  Schreiner L., Loos H. M., Buettner A. Identification of odorants in wood of Calocedrus decurrens (Torr.) Florin by aroma extract dilution analysis and two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/olfactometry, Bioanalytical and Analytical Chemistry, 2017
  Czerny M., Buettner, A. Odor-active compounds in cardboard, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009
Lectures: L. Schreiner, B. Sona, H.M. Loos, Wood you like the smell? Autonomic nervous system responses and subjective evaluations of the wood smell, Eurosense 2018, 2.-5.9.2018
  L. Schreiner, B. Sona, H.M. Loos, The smell of wood and ist impact on physiological responses, 19th World Congress of Psychophysiology, 4.-8.9.2018
  L. Schreiner, B. Sona, M. Wagenstaller, A. Buettner, Investigations on the smell of wood, 5th International Conference on Processing Technologies for the Forest and Bio-based Products Industries (PTF BPI 2018), 20.-21.9.2018