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Chlorine flavor perception and neutralization in drinking water

Abstract : For water suppliers, using chlorine is necessary to ensure water bacteriological quality from the treatment plant to the consumers’ tap. However, chlorine flavour is one of the most common reasons advocated for choosing tap water alternatives as drinking water. As a consequence, the putative link between chlorine flavour perception and tap water consumption is an issue in drinking water habits studies. Since the sensory mechanisms involved in chlorine flavour perception remained largely unknown, the main objective of this thesis work was to first highlight those mechanisms and then to identify potential lever chlorine flavour sensory neutralisation.In a first step, we demonstrated that hypochlorous acid associated, which is likelyresponsible of chlorine flavour in tap water, could activate the olfactory system at low concentrations and the trigeminal system for concentrations up to 4 mg/L Cl2. Additionally, our results suggested that tap water consumption does not seem to be related to sensitivity to chlorine flavour but rather to consumers’ tap water representation.In a second stage, we explored the impact of water mineral matrix on chlorine flavour perception. We demonstrated first that water molarity and cationic content variations modulate drinking water taste. We also evidenced that chlorine flavour intensity is modulated according to water composition. Nevertheless, our data suggest that physico-chemical, in- mouth physiological and sensory mechanisms are likely involved in such modulation.In the last part of the Thesis work, we investigate the putative influence of aroma perceptionon chlorine flavour. Our results showed that beyond chemical reactions between hypochlorous acid and odorants, aromas at peri-threshold concentration enhance chlorine flavour and decrease tap water acceptability
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Sabine Puget. Chlorine flavor perception and neutralization in drinking water. Psychology. Université de Bourgogne, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010DIJOS092⟩. ⟨tel-00786522⟩

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