A breakthrough method for evaluating odour control capabilities in the textiles industry


Microban® International welcomes the recently approved AATCC test method – TM211-2021 – that has been developed to support odour control in the textiles industry.

This novel and strategically important, standardized Drager method measures the reduction of odour on materials treated with antimicrobial technologies, and partners well with existing textile test methods such as the AATCC TM100, to show the correlation between bacterial reduction and odour control. Microban was one of the early adopters of this groundbreaking method that can for the first time provide a truly quantitative evaluation of the valuable, real-world and functional benefits of antimicrobial chemistries by quantifying odour reduction.

Antimicrobial technologies in textiles provide a proactive solution for preventing ‘permastink’ – the enduring odours created by the metabolism of sweat by skin flora that often persist on clothes after cleaning. These odour control formulations work on the understanding that reducing the growth of microbial populations on textiles will subsequently reduce odours generated from bacterial activity. The AATCC TM 211-2021 test method is an innovative, objective method that can articulate the efficacy of odour control technologies and provide definitive scientific evidence for these claims. Additionally, this highly sensitive test gives real-time and visual depictions of ammonia levels – created by bacterial metabolic pathways – on a colorimetric scale, in under 48 hours. The biological system can be used across the textile industry for assessing the odour capture propensity of both antimicrobial-based technologies, and other odour-reducing techniques.

Erika Simmons, Technical Director at the AATCC, explained: “RA31 has introduced a new odour method with the addition of TM211. This new method provides a quantifiable means for evaluating the reduction of odour generated from textiles treated with antibacterial finishes. This method offers a much-needed standard for addressing odour as a factor in antibacterial finish performance. AATCC is proud of this new method and the doors it opens to innovation down the road.”

Dr. Ivan Ong, Vice President of Research and Development at Microban International, commented: “This is a hugely important and necessary scientific advancement, not only for our company but for the entire textiles industry. Being able to quantify odour control technology quickly and accurately can help to communicate these benefits to the end user, as well as expand our understanding of the mechanisms used to inhibit bacterial metabolism. This is all part of our ongoing commitment to developing scientifically-backed technologies for products that are cleaner, fresher and more valuable to the customer.”

To find out more, watch the video about the AATCC testing method.

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