Volatile sulphur compound measurement with OralChromaTM: Amethodological improvement

Anna Szabó, Zsófia Tarnai, Csaba Berkovits, Péter Novák, Árpád Mohácsi, Gábor Braunitzer, Zoltán Rakonczay, Kinga Turzó, Katalin Nagy, Gábor Szabó

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The instrumental measurement of volatile sulphur compounds is a common practice to assess halitosis. One of the most widespread devices for that purpose is OralChromaTM, a combination of a semiconductor gas sensor and a compact gas chromatograph (GC) system. Several lines of evidence indicate that although the hardware of OralChromaTM is fit for the precise measurement of volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs), its software needs revision to allow that precision. In this study we sought to develop software to solve this problem, and to test the utility of the new software in a population of patients and controls. The results were also compared with VSC measurements performed with Halimeter, another widespread device, so as to assess the correlation. A set of measurements involving volunteers (21 controls and 14 oral cancer patients) were conducted. The analysis of the chromatograms recorded by OralChromaTM indicated that the majority of the studied breath samples contained significant amounts of isoprene (the peak was around 100 s) and acetaldehyde (the peak was around 350 s), therefore OralChromaTM was also calibrated for both isoprene and acetaldehyde. A linear relationship was found between the concentration (in the range of 80-1400 ppbv for acetaldehyde and 40-560 ppbv for isoprene) and the area under the corresponding peak. In numerous cases the concentrations of VSCs calculated by the software of OralChromaTM required revision. In the new software, the concentrations of the VSCs, isoprene and acetaldehyde were determined by fitting the chromatograms with the sum of six Gaussian functions. Based on the findings of the present study we conclude that our new software allows an improved and instantaneous evaluation of OralChromaTM chromatograms with the additional possibility of determining the isoprene and acetaldehyde concentrations from breath samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016001
JournalJournal of breath research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015


  • gas chromatograph
  • halitosis
  • semiconductor sensor
  • volatile sulphur compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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    Szabó, A., Tarnai, Z., Berkovits, C., Novák, P., Mohácsi, Á., Braunitzer, G., Rakonczay, Z., Turzó, K., Nagy, K., & Szabó, G. (2015). Volatile sulphur compound measurement with OralChromaTM: Amethodological improvement. Journal of breath research, 9(1), [016001]. https://doi.org/10.1088/1752-7155/9/1/016001