Learn About The Importance Of Field Olfactometry

The Nasal Ranger
Field Olfactometer

The Iowa DNR has certified 34 odor inspectors trained by St. Croix Sensory, a Lake Elmo, Minnesota-based laboratory that specializes in odor analysis and taste and sensory testing. Training them cost about $15,500, with another $66,000 spent on equipment.

Nasal Rangers must have a good, but not too sensitive, sense of smell, said Charles McGinley, technical director and co-owner of St. Croix Sensory, which has certified more than 2,000 inspectors throughout the world.

Recruits are tested, using a series of felt-tipped markers containing varying levels of the chemical butenol. Blindfolded, the recruit must be able to pick the middle of the spectrum. The test is repeated three times for accuracy, McGinley said.

Once selected, the inspector gets a few days of training using an olfactometer, a device that resembles a radar gun held to the nose, and then receives a certificate and Nasal Ranger patch.


11 Responses:

  1. billemon says:

    Booger patrol!

    Actually it put me in mind of the Smelloscope. The Death Clock has to be next! *g*

  2. waywind says:

    I want a Nasal Ranger patch too.

  3. loosechanj says:

    The Anal Ranger patch can only be next.

  4. jerronimo says:

    Is that new Fortran 5 or very old Fortran 5?

  5. madmadammim says:

    Does anyone know anything about the actual scale on which the measure smell? I have often thought about this, but never enough to actually look anything up about it. But these people obviously have some sort of scale on which they measure the smells. They say "middle of the spectrum"--how are they defining and measuring this spectrum??? I bet there are all kinds of weird factors involved in smell that most people know nothing about! This seems so strange to me since it is one of our five basic senses, yet surely the most underappreciated. Any information on the subject would be welcome :)