Peter Dunn with his Non-Scents odour removal product. Photo
by Craig Baxter.
Its existence might not be well known but a natural
mineral - HS1 - is not to be sniffed at, Dunedin man Peter Dunn
Mr Dunn is involved with a Dunedin-based company that is
manufacturing an odour-removal product that uses the mineral
to remove the likes of pet, car, cigarette, cooking, shoe and
Non-Scents is being exported to Australia and the United
States as well as being sold in New Zealand.
Mr Dunn also had an idea that it might be possible to include
the mineral in a polymer and, after an approach to a polymer
manufacturer, the first batches have been made.
Licensing would be sold to those wanting to manufacture
products using it and it could create export opportunities,
Mr Dunn became aware of HS1 a few years ago when he was
working on a product that was to be used to filter out
contaminants and excess nutrients from farm run-off.
He was told of a natural mineral that could be used as a
filtering substrate but that also had some other special
characteristics, including the ability to take in and release
odours and some gases, and it could be used ''over and over
The mineral was quite plentiful in New Zealand - he reckoned
there were ''billions'' of tonnes of it - but it had ''flown
below the radar'' and most people did not know what or where
it was, he said.
He tracked down a source in the North Island and initially
did some market research using a generic container and
selling what is known as Non-Scents.
After selling 500 containers of the product, he realised he
needed to come up with an attractive design for them.
Sales were ''starting to pick up all the time'' and while the
assembly was fairly labour intensive, he hoped it would
eventually be automated as demand increased.
As the mineral was effective at removing ethylene gas, which
is produced by fruit and vegetables as they ripen, it got Mr
Dunn thinking of ways the mineral could be used with exported
In particular, if there was a way to prolong the life of
avocados exported to Europe or the United States, growers
would benefit, he said.
He wanted something that would completely surround the
produce so it evenly captured the gases emitted from the
Impregnated foam seemed an obvious choice but it had never
been done before, so a process had to be developed.
The applications for an odour or moisture-absorbing polymer
were ''ginormous'', including wound dressing, elderly care
products and shoe liners.
''Everybody wants organic these days ... and that's exactly
what it is. It's completely natural; we don't do anything to
Rather than it being a money-making venture, the aim was to
raise money to finance river restoration projects, something
that he was passionate about, Mr Dunn said.
He also hoped to encourage people with other ideas for the