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
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
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