Discovery and design of toilet malodor counteractants for managing offending smells and increasing consumer acceptance of reinvented toilets

2013 - 2016 • Firmenich


To bring performing and affordable malodor counteracting solutions to the beneficiaries of the Foundation’s WSH initiatives by making the use of affected toilets a more desirable experience.



- The fecal reconstitution (4 molecules) produced similar results as the latrine reconstitution (same 4 molecules + 4 others found in latrines sludge) in every country.
- A reconstitution with butyric acid, p-cresol, indole and dimethyl trisulfide can evoke an olfactory experience similar to the one during the use of latrines in three different continents.
- This confirms and consolidates previous studies on fecal odors that butyric acid, p-cresol, indole and dimethyl trisulfide are strong contributors to the human fecal odor.
- Stable synthetic reconstitution of pit-latrine malodor is essential for perfume creation, the development of odor control method and for a better understanding of the perception of the latrine malodor.


Detailed location of main activity  Countries of activity


The purpose of this project is to bring performing and affordable malodor counteracting solutions to the beneficiaries of the Foundation’s WSH initiatives by making the use of affected toilets a more desirable experience.

Further information

Dr. Myles F. Elledge, Senior Director of RTIInternational (USA), for helping us organize the survey in Ahmadabad; Ritu A. Sinha, Head-Strategic Alliances, RTI India;
the team from SEWA (Self Employed Women Association) in Ahmadabad for organizing the odor sampling;
in Durban, South Africa, Prof. Chris Buckley of the University of KwaZulu Environmental Natal for coordinating the odor sampling, along with Dr. Lungi Zuma from e Thekwini Municipality.

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Asia & Pacific Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Europe, Caucasus & Central Asia Fundamental research and engineering Global India Kenya Other Private sector, including social enterprises Product design and engineering South Africa Sub-Saharan Africa Switzerland


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