Virtual Conference
Nutrition 2022

Boris Brkic

University of Novi Sad, Serbia

Title: Breath analysis using portable mass spectrometry for personalized nutrition


Nutrition is one of the main topics of the society in general. In modern times, it became even more important due to increased rate of metabolic disorders, such as obesity, diabetes type 2, and cardiovascular diseases. There are various possible causes to these disorders, however the great proportion is a consequence of bad dietary habits (e.g., overeating, poor quality diet) and lack of physical activity. To stop this trend, some prevention measures can be taken such as wide screening of the population and personalized dietary approach. In this work, we performed large-scale validation of the portable and affordable mass spectrometer for food impact assessment from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath. Validation was done as a pilot study among 6 different population groups: people with overweightness, people with obesity, people with diabetes type II, people with cardiovascular disease, people with poor quality diet and professional athletes. More than 150 participants were recruited from 5 European countries – UK, Greece, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal with informed consents and ethical approvals. Food impact was assessed by monitoring the concentrations of several VOCs (acetone, ethanol, isoprene, and n-pentane) related to macronutrients metabolism in exhaled breath samples. The analysis was done using the newly developed membrane inlet mass spectrometer (MIMS). Concentration levels for selected breath VOCs were determined in samples collected before the meal and after the meal. The experimental data was compared against the data acquired via the questionnaire to discover possible relationships between VOCs concentration levels and meal consumption trends among specific population groups. The results will be incorporated into the mobile application for personalized nutrition and analyzed by the experts. 


Dr Boris Brki? is a research associate professor at BioSense Institute. He is an electrical engineer with his BEng and PhD obtained from the University of Liverpool. His expertise lies in simulation, design, development and implementation of portable mass spectrometers. Before joining BioSense, Dr Brki? worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University of Liverpool and as a principal project manager at Q Technologies Ltd. In this period, he was involved with research and development of portable membrane inlet mass spectrometers (MIMS) for detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for environmental, security and energy applications. He led 9 research projects in total which included 2 UK national projects, 1 Serbian national project, 1 EU FP7 project, 2 EU H2020 projects (one still ongoing), 1 EU IPA project and 2 industrial projects funded by British Petroleum, British Gas, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ENI and Royal DSM. His current research interests are in areas of sustainable agriculture, personalized nutrition, food security and environmental applications.