Digital Olfaction for Better

Decision Making

Image used for illustrative purposes only

Aryballe combines biochemistry, advanced optics and machine learning to mimic the human sense of smell. This is referred to as digital olfaction and is generally defined as the digital capture and production of aromas. Similar to our sense of smell, digital olfaction mimics the process by which our brains identify and differentiate between odours. Cosmetech reports.

Objects, both organic and inorganic, release odour molecules in response to energy variation or biological processes. When energy increase through temperature, agitation or pressure, the evaporation of odour occurs, and it then becomes possible for humans to absorb this odour through their nasal cavities. These odours are commonly referred to as VOCs or volatile organic compounds. This stimulates the nasal olfactory neurons and then the olfactory bulb, and using other information, such as memory and visual inputs, the olfactory cortex produces the final result: the identification of the smell of the object.

Digital olfaction binds odour molecules to biosensors, which act as the olfactory bulb, and produces a unique odour signature. Once the odour signatures are detected, software then interprets those signatures based on a database of previously collected and analyzed odours. Think of this almost as our memory bank, which our brains rely on to correlate individual smells to life experiences and learnings and classifies the odour accordingly. Digital olfaction not only provides consistency in the definition and use of smell, but enables companies to use odour data collected to inform key business decisions, from rejecting or approving a raw material supply, to reducing analysis time in the R&D formulation of a new cosmetic by outlining whether the new formula tastes similar to the original. In addition, these solutions are helping companies improve user experiences with applications in the automotive and consumer appliance markets as well.

Manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products are looking for innovations that allow them to better measure product efficacy and quality. Digital olfaction allows them to have a compact, objective and cost-effective solution for raw material and product characterization.  They can assess the smell stability at each phase of production, including validation of finished product quality; Ensure odour defects are not transferred from packaging materials to products; Monitor the drift in time of the fragrance in formulas; Verify the quality of raw materials compared to the perfume house’s database of scent references; Provide objective olfaction data comparisons between suppliers; Reduce development time by using olfaction data to characterize new formulations and Provide objective data outside of traditional smell panels.

Arybelle solutions enable the digitization of smell through hardware-enabled software and data ware platforms. The company released its first product, the digital nose NeOse Pro, in 2018. The sensor captures odour signatures for display and analysis via software solutions. The company has just launched a new high-volume, low-cost universal odour sensor, capable of detecting any odour in near real-time.

Built on a silicon photonics platform, Aryballe’s new sensor is ideal for the automotive and consumer appliances industries due to its miniature size enabling companies to develop innovative solutions for new consumer application challenges. Featuring the same sensitivity as Aryballe’s NeOse Pro, the new sensor device is smaller than a paperclip in size, more durable, and can be integrated more easily into existing smart sensor networks. This is especially important for companies developing smart home appliances as consumers more frequently demand a more seamless experience in the smart home.

The automotive industry is also experiencing a fundamental shift as the shared economy trend continues to gain momentum. Integrating Aryballe’s new sensor device into vehicles will enable fleet providers and vehicle manufacturers to continuously assess the impact of smell in a car to prevent a negative customer experience. Hyundai Motor Company, an investor in Aryballe has already teamed up with the company to use its sensors to better inform drivers of the interior conditions of their vehicles. International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) has also invested in the company, to refine and further develop the applications of Aryballe’s technology in the food, fragrance, cosmetics and other industries.

“Aryballe has been a leader in digital olfaction,” said Sam Guillaume, CEO, Aryballe. “We dramatically reduced the size and cost of our newest device to further provide companies in consumer-facing industries with options they never had before. Now, our customers benefit from a much wider range of potential use cases, all of which improve the user experience as well as their bottom line.”

The new device is equipped with a silicon photonics biosensor, making it vibration resistant and less sensitive to outside influences. The sensor is functionalized with Aryballe’s proprietary combination of biosensors, which capture unique odour signatures in mere seconds. Once captured, Aryballe’s software then interprets those signatures based on a database of previously collected and analyzed odours, effectively mimicking the human sense of smell.

Reference: Arybelle website