338 µg per capsule

Plastics, like polystyrene”

Certified soft drinks flavour standard used to train professional tasters to recognize and scale the intensity of plastics character. Styrene can contaminate plastic bottles. It can also arise from growth of contaminant yeasts and moulds. Carbonation of soft drinks with defective carbon dioxide is sometimes to blame for this flavour. Styrene imparts a flavour note which is often described as 'chemical' with a plastic-like character reminiscent of polystyrene.

Food grade | free from sensory impurities | extensively tested | safe to smell and taste.

Flavour cards

Flavour standard information

Technical specification

The best way to detect the presence of styrene in soft drinks is as follows. Cover the sample with your hand and swirl the glass to release the aroma. Remove your hand and take a single long sniff. Repeat as necessary.
Amount of flavour per capsule
338 µg per capsule
The flavour threshold of styrene in soft drinks is 110 µg / l.
Styrene can contaminate plastic bottles and, in turn, impart a taint to the soft drinks or juices packaged into these bottles. It can also arise from the action of contaminant yeasts and moulds. Use of defective carbon dioxide is occasionally to blame for styrene contamination incidents.
Styrene is often described by consumers as ‘chemical’, ‘plasticy’ (like polystyrene) or ‘contaminated’. When formed by yeasts or moulds, additional compounds such as 4-vinyl guaiacol and 1,3-pentadiene may be present which can modify the flavour making the drink more 'medicinal', 'smoky' in the case of guaiaco, or like kerosine in the case of pentadiene.
CAS registry number
Other names
  • ethenylbenzene
  • phenyl ethene
  • phenyl ethylene
  • styrol
  • styrolene
  • vinyl benzene
  • vinyl benzol
Other compounds can impart plastic-like notes to soft drinks. Samples containing this standard are best tasted in glass, rather than in plastic, to avoid loss of odour.
Threshold distribution
Capsules per pot
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