Chemosensory Perception

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 31–39 | Cite as

Identification of Odor-Active Substances in Individual Low-Volume Amniotic Fluid Samples by a Sensorially Targeted Gas Chromatographic-Olfactometric Approach

  • Constanze Hartmann
  • Susanne Cupisti
  • Ralf Dittrich
  • Andrea BuettnerEmail author


The odor of amniotic fluid is repeatedly discussed with regard to its potential to provide olfactory cues to the unborn. However, the chemical basis for such assumptions is still unclear and the odorous composition of amniotic fluid, as well as inter-individual variances, has not yet been fully investigated. However, thorough examination of the odor and flavor profiles of the intra-uterine environment might support our understanding of early sensory triggers and potential sensory conditioning processes. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize specific odorants in individual samples of amniotic fluid and to identify the most potent odor-active substances in this physiological fluid by means of gas chromatography olfactometry and aroma extract dilution analysis. The identification led to six new substances, which were not reported, to the best of our knowledge, for amniotic fluid before—among them the two steroids 5α-androst-16-en-3-one and 4, 16-androstadien-3-one.


Gas chromatography olfactometry Androstenone Androstadienone Odor extract dilution analysis 



This work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The authors are exclusively responsible for contents of the publication.

Compliance with ethics requirements

Conflict of interest

Constanze Hartmann declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Susanne Cupisti declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ralf Dittrich declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Andrea Buettner declares that she has no conflict of interest.

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constanze Hartmann
    • 1
  • Susanne Cupisti
    • 2
  • Ralf Dittrich
    • 2
  • Andrea Buettner
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Food Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Emil Fischer CenterFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.University Hospital Erlangen OB/GYNFriedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV)FreisingGermany

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