Blood is an extremely complex mixture and the number of different components that can be detected in its aroma owes as much to the separating ability and sensitivity of the method used as it does to the sample itself.

Blood plasma is a water matrix containing carbohydrates, sugars, lipids, fatty acids, proteins and nucleotides. The more volatile and primarily odour-producing chemicals of blood are large numbers of molecular chains involving 20 amino acids.

Amino acids are linked by peptide bonds, a type of covalent bonding, forming proteins. There are short chains of amino acids, peptides and long chains called polypeptides.

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