Peppermint: A Benchmarking Protocol

Peppermint: A Benchmarking Protocol

Ben Henderson (1)*- Dahlia Salman (2), Maxim Wilkinson (3), Dorota Ruszkiewicz (2), Iain White (3), Jonathan Beauchamp (4), Stephen Fowler (3), Simona M. Cristescu (1) and C. L. Paul Thomas (2)

(1) Trace Gas Facility, Department of Molecular and Laser Physics, IMM, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. (2) Department of Chemistry, Loughborough University, UK. (3) Division of Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine, The University of Manchester, UK. (4) Department of Sensory Analytics, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Germany


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The development and dissemination of a method for evaluating breath sampling and analysis techniques, with accompanying benchmark data, was prioritised by the IABR joint task force in 2016 and the multi-centre study, “Peppermint”, was created. The Peppermint study uses an oral administration of a peppermint capsule to produce a defined perturbation in the breath profile of a participant. Preparatory studies with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) identified Menthol, I-menthone, Eucalyptol, y-Terpine, Cineole and Methofuran as the principal markers associated with peppermint oil ingestion. Similar studies with proton transfer reaction time of flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF MS) have identified markers with nominal masses of m/z 81, 83, 95, 137 and 155. Currently 31 research groups have requested information on participating in the study and 14 teams have joined. On-line and off-line sampling techniques are included such as: thermal desorption (GC-MS), GC-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS), on-line sampling PTR-ToF MS. On joining the study, a research team receives 60 capsules of peppermint oil. Each laboratory recruits ten participants, collecting and analysing breath samples following their own protocols that encompasses the predicted washout profile of peppermint oil volatiles. Breath samples are collected 30 min before capsule ingestion and at 60, 90,165, 285 and 360 min post ingestion. Data are uploaded to the project’s repository where they are anonymised before statistical processing and incorporation into the whole data set. Initial findings are planned for release later in 2018 with the intention of providing benchmarking analytical performance data for the wider research community.




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