There is no gold standard method for human skin odor determination; several techniques can be applied to collect, extract, transfer, and detect human skin odors. However, none of these methods are suitable for field sampling of a large number of individuals. Objective
. The present study aimed to develop a simple, fast, non-invasive, and low-cost method for such a purpose. Methods.
Considering that hair from legs can act as a retention mesh of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), samples of leg hairs provided by healthy adult males were collected and solid-phase microextraction (SPME), in headspace (HS) mode, coupled to gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of the samples was carried out. A pilot test was applied to detect five quality markers that are frequently reported in human skin odors. Then, several steps were performed for method standardization. The method was applied to 36 different individuals (3 sampled under laboratory conditions and 33 under field conditions), aiming to evaluate its applicability in both environments. Findings.
A total of 49 VOCs were identified, and 73.5% of these have been reported in previous studies. Main Conclusions.
Hair from legs can be considered an efficient tool for human skin odor sampling and a suitable and practical matrix for human skin odor profile determination by using HS-SPME/GC-MS.
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