Measuring Odor Transport of Narcotic Substances Using DART-MS Article

Zughaibi, TA, Furton, KG, Holness, HK et al. (2022). Measuring Odor Transport of Narcotic Substances Using DART-MS . 2(1), 262-271. 10.3390/forensicsci2010020

cited authors

  • Zughaibi, TA; Furton, KG; Holness, HK; Peace, MR


  • The employment of canines in matters of law enforcement is due to their heightened olfactory senses, which helps in evaluating the presence of illicit substances. However, there have been instances where canines are signaling the presence of narcotics when they are not there. This study aimed to analyze how active odorants transport from one area to another. Direct Analysis in Real-Time coupled to a high-resolution mass spectrometer (DART-MS) was used to analyze, in real-time, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of two narcotic substances: cocaine and methamphetamine. This study found that the transfer of VOCs from these narcotics does occur. Methyl benzoate was detected at 39.3 ± 3.2 s after exposure from 3 meters away, whereas benzaldehyde was detected at 43.3 ± 0.6 s from the same distance. The guidelines used for canine certification should be revisited to account for these results to lower or eliminate unconfirmed alerts by canines.

publication date

  • March 1, 2022

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 262

end page

  • 271


  • 2


  • 1