Scent and consumer acceptability of cut Ptilotus flowers

The University of Queensland

  • Project code: PRJ-002435

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, October 3, 2008

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, June 30, 2009

  • National Priority: NEPI-Incubate new and emerging plant industries, support breakthrough projects


This technical project will characterise the scent of Ptilotus flowers to identify character impact compounds (CICs) and also ascertain consumer acceptability of the scent along with other inflorescence characteristics (e.g. colour, form). Scent will be characterised by headspace volatiles analysis and acceptability by consumer surveys. Volatiles analysis will be conducted using a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer fitted with an olfactory (‘sniffer’) port (GCMS-O). A trained ‘sniffer’ will be engaged to characterise the nature of individual volatiles as they come off the column. Consumer surveys will be conducted by a team of assistants in three shopping centres in the Brisbane region with a Big W store and consenting centre managers. Sample sizes will be in excess of 100 individuals who will be asked to rate characteristics on hedonic scales and, thereafter, to offer comment including an ‘everyday’ descripition of the scent. Consumers will be asked for permission to use their comments with due acknowledgement. Assuming that it proves overall positive, the information gathered (i.e. summary statistics and statements) will be used to promote cut Ptilotus flowers in the marketplace, such as in point of sale literature.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

The University of Queensland

Objective Summary

This project will characterise the scent of cut pilotus flowers and ascertain consumer acceptability of scent and other inflorescence characteristics.