The peppermint breath test benchmarking for PTR-MS and SIFT-MS
A major challenge for breath research is the lack of standardization in sampling and analysis. To address this, a test that utilizes a standardized intervention and a defined study protocol has been proposed to explore disparities in breath research across different analytical platforms and to provide benchmark values for comparison. Specifically, the Peppermint Experiment involves the targeted analysis in exhaled breath of volatile constituents of peppermint oil after ingestion of the encapsulated oil. Data from the Peppermint Experiment performed by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) and selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) are presented and discussed herein, including the product ions associated with the key peppermint volatiles, namely limonene, a- and v-pinene, 1,8-cineole, menthol, menthone and menthofuran. The breath washout profiles of these compounds from 65 individuals were collected, comprising datasets from five PTR-MS and two SIFT-MS instruments. The washout profiles of these volatiles were evaluated by comparing the log-fold change over time of the product ion intensities associated with each volatile. Benchmark values were calculated from the lower 95% confidence interval of the linear time-to-washout regression analysis for all datasets combined. Benchmark washout values from PTR-MS analysis were 353 min for the sum of monoterpenes and 1,8-cineole (identical product ions), 173 min for menthol, 330 min for menthofuran, and 218 min for menthone; from SIFT-MS analysis values were 228 min for the sum of monoterpenes, 281 min for the sum of monoterpenes and 1,8-cineole, and 370 min for menthone plus 1,8-cineole. Large inter- and intra-dataset variations were observed, whereby the latter suggests that biological variability plays a key role in how the compounds are absorbed, metabolized and excreted from the body via breath. This variability seems large compared to the influence of sampling and analytical procedures, but further investigations are recommended to clarify the effects of these factors.
Beauchamp, Jonathan D.