VFA and ammonia from residential food waste as indicators of odor potential
Research was conducted to determine suitable chemical parameters as indicators of odor from decomposing food wastes. Prepared food scraps were stored in 18 L plastic buckets (2 kg wet 3 weight each) at 20°C and 8°C to reproduce high and low temperature conditions. After 1, 3, 7, 4 10 and 14 days of storage, the odor from the buckets were marked to an intensity scale of 0 (no 5 odor) to (intense) and the corresponding leachate analysed for volatile fatty acids, ammonia and total organic carbon. A linear relationship between odor intensity and the measured parameter indicates a suitable odor indicator. Odor intensified with longer storage period and warmer surroundings. The study found ammonia and isovaleric acid to be promising odor indicators. For this food waste mixture, offensive odours were emitted if the ammonia and isovaleric acid contents exceeded 360 mg/l and 940 mg/l, respectively.