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Water Sci Technol. 2004;49(9):321-8.

Chlorinous flavor perception in drinking water.

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  • 1CIRSEE/Ondeo Services, 38 Rue du President Wilson 78230 Le Pecq, France.


Chlorinous flavors at the tap are the leading cause of customers' complaints and dissatisfaction with drinking water. To characterize consumer perception and acceptance to chlorinous tastes, extensive taste testing was performed with both trained panelists and average consumers. Taste testing with trained panelists showed that chlorine perception is underestimated by disinfectant flavor thresholds reported in the literature. However, trained panelists significantly overestimate the average consumer's ability to perceive chlorine. In addition, consumer perception seems to be influenced by the chlorination practices of the country they live in. Among water quality characteristics that may influence chlorine perception, temperature was not found to induce any significant change. The influence of total dissolved solids (TDS) on chlorine perception remains unclear and, as reported elsewhere, background tastes such as musty, may significantly impact chlorine threshold.

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