[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
It’s true that if you eat a lot of what’s fondly dubbed the stinking rose, others might notice a faint whiff of eau de garlic in your sweat. But even the pungent bulb can’t mask your natural scent. In fact, scientists from the Monell Center in Philadelphia say that an individual’s scent is impossible to mask through food. They published this research in the online journal Public Library of Science One.
All mammals have specific genetically-determined smells, known as odor types. Special sensor mice were trained to recognize other mice by their odor types. Then the odiferous mice were fed diets designed to mask their odors. They did smell different when they ate different food. But even with the dietary changes, the sensor mice could pick out the individual, personal smells.
This means our odorprint may be as individual as our fingerprints. Scientists say if animals can determine individual scents, then sensors could be designed to do the same thing. This could lead to new devices to detect those odorprints. Which means that future criminals may have to worry about wiping away fingerprints and whatever body odor they leave behind.