Anosmia is defined by ASTM International1 as:
“Anosmia, n—lack of sensitivity to odor stimuli. (1996)”
Anosmia is the condition of complete loss of ability to smell. Individuals sometimes experience this condition in response to a blow to the back of the head, severing the neural connections between the olfactory receptor neurons and the olfactory bulb. These connecting axons extend through the cribrifrom plate and can be sheared by a sudden jarring of the skull. This injury is common and sometimes self-repairing, but much of the time remains permanent. Additionally, the condition of being unable to detect particular smells is known as a specific anosmia.
Anosmia is of particular relevance to those working in the sensory field as affected individuals have a significant impairment in flavor perception. Sensory Analysts should be aware of this condition and may need to screen panelists prior to panel participation.
1 ASTM International. 2009. Standard Terminology Relating to Sensory Evaluations of Materials and Products, E253-09a. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA. E253-09a
2 Lawless, H. T., and H. Heymann, (1999) Sensory Evaluation of Food.
3 Meilgaard, M. C., G. V. Civille, and B. T. Carr, (2007) Sensory Evaluation Techniques.