Analysis of synthetic canine training aids by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry

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Journal Article
Journal of Chromatography A, 2012, 1255 pp. 202 - 206
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Cadaver dogs are trained on a variety of materials, including artificial or pseudo scents. The chemical components of commercially available pseudo scents are not known, so their accuracy as a decomposition odour mimic and their effectiveness as a canine training aid have not been evaluated. Two pseudo scents that are commercially available and used for training cadaver dogs were analysed using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (GC. × GC-TOFMS). The two formulations were determined to be simplistic in their composition, compared to real cadaveric volatile organic compound (VOC) mixtures, with only a few major components. The enhanced GC. × GC-TOFMS peak capacity was nevertheless useful to discriminate less intense peaks from large overloaded peaks. The availability of both dimension retention times combined with the peak finding and deconvolution algorithm, enabled the chemical characterization of the two formulations. Additionally, high resolution (HR) TOFMS was used to extract molecular formulae and confirm identities of analytes. The seven compounds identified by this work have not been reported previously as volatile products of decomposition, indicating that these pseudo scents are not to be considered as an accurate representation of cadaveric decomposition odour. Further research on the olfaction of scent detection canines and the chemical composition of their target odourants needs to be conducted to develop improved canine training aids. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
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