Public Release: 

VTT test can smell ketosis

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

VTT has developed a quick, easy-to-use ketosis test for consumers that can detect acetone on exhaled breath. The test will benefit diabetics and dieters in particular, but it can easily be adapted to other uses as well, such as the detection of the air pollutants formaldehyde or acetaldehyde. VTT is now seeking a partner to commercialise the product.

Ketosis can now easily be detected on exhaled breath, which is much more convenient for the user than a urine test used for the purpose today.

The ketosis test consists of two parts: a paper slip that changes colour, and a plastic sampling bag into which the person being tested exhales. The change of colour will reveal the result of the test within 15 minutes. The more acetone the exhaled breath contains, the quicker the colour will turn from light yellow to reddish.

In the future, it will be possible to use a mobile phone application measuring colours to read the result.

The acetone concentration of 1.8 ppm(V) is considered to be the threshold of ketosis. In healthy human beings, the concentration is usually clearly below 1 ppm(V).

The ketosis test has been targeted at users who follow a low-carbohydrate diet for health reasons or who are trying to lose weight. Due to its principle of operation, in addition to acetone, the test is also suited for detecting ketones and other aldehydes in the surrounding air.

More than 380 million people have diabetes, and 90 per cent of them suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is getting more and more common in the world, according the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and WHO. According to WHO, there are 1.9 billion overweight adults in the world.


For more information, please contact:

Thea Sipiläinen-Malm, Senior Scientist
Tel. +358 40 700 9141

Further information on VTT:

Olli Ernvall
Senior Vice President, Communications
358 20 722 6747

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries. We use our research and knowledge to provide expert services for our domestic and international customers and partners, and for both private and public sectors. We use 4,000,000 hours of brainpower a year to develop new technological solutions.

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