Photo of a K-9 in training.Peroxide-based homemade explosives (HMEs) such as TATP and HMTD are often the weapons of choice for terrorists because they can be made from readily-available materials. These explosives can be employed in tandem with high explosives such as PETN, RDX, and TNT or other HMEs such as those based on ammonium nitrate or potassium chlorate. Well-trained explosive-detecting K-9s are an essential part of any program to detect these explosives and protect ourselves from them. To effectively and safely train those K-9s requires training aids that ARE real explosives but are safe to handle.

Manufacturing, Packaging, and Testing

MANUFACTURING: TrueScent training scents start life as authentic explosives manufactured in a safe laboratory setting. These aids are manufactured into a non-explosive form by desensitizing the real explosive with an odorless filler material.

PACKAGING: The explosive aid is placed into a "breather" bag through which the scent is dispersed during training.  For storage and transport, the breather bag is placed into a silver non-permeable, anti-contamination pouch that maintains the shelf life of the aid.  When handled and stored properly, the training aids are very stable.

TESTING: We routinely test our products for quality and stability, so that you can be assured your dog is getting the "true scent".  When using TrueScent, you have the backing of Signature Science's high laboratory standards.  In addition an independent nationally-recognized government agency designed and executed validation testing of TrueScent aids.


The first part of the study was a carefully designed Forward Validation Test. Thirty (30) K-9s were imprinted with pure TATP and HMTD explosive materials  from a validated laboratory. The imprinted K-9s were then tested with TrueScent training aids to determine the alert rate. All K-9s consistently alerted on the TrueScent aids.



The second part of the study was a Reverse Validation Test. Ten (10) “green” K-9s were imprinted using the TrueScent TATP and HMTD scent training aids along with other live explosives as part of a standard imprinting schedule. The imprinted K-9s were then tested with pure TATP and HMTD explosive materials and the alert rate was determined. The K-9s consistently alerted on the "real" explosive materials. The study proved that TrueScent Training Aids have addressed a critical need related to K-9 training for the detection of homemade explosives.


The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) prohibits transporting TATP, HMTD, and other high explosive materials on the nation's roadways unless specific guidelines are met. It's easy to see why they are so cautious. These are dangerous materials.

Since many TrueScent products contain these materials, we needed to prove to the DOT that our versions could not explode. We hired a third-party safety testing firm to perform the DOT recommended "United Nations Series" of tests for each of our aids. This protocol includes thermal stability tests, external fire tests, and simulated bulk auto ignition test (SBAT).

Storage and Stability

All of our training materials are considered non-energetic. No ATF permit is required for storage. With the exception of HMTD, all TrueScent products can be stored for up to one year when stored properly. We recommend storing all materials in a refrigerator or freezer when not in use.

HMTD is known to degrade if it is not stored appropriately. We ran a study to determine the ideal storage conditions for our HMTD training aids.

HMTD stored at elevated temperature completely degrades after 7 days HMTD stored at ambient temperature completely degrades after 21 days HMTD stored in refrigerator conditions is 50% degraded after 90 days HMTD stored in freezing conditions is only 30% degraded after 240 days


THE RESULTS: HMTD aid samples should always be kept frozen when not in use. They can be stored for at least six months at freezer temperature with minimal degradation.  We recommend replacing your HMTD aids after 6 months.