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.