Though bad odour has always been associated with animal production, it did not attract much research attention until in many countries the odour production and emission from intensified animal production caused serious nuisance and was implicated in the health problems of individuals living near animal farms. Odour from pig production facilities is generated by the microbial conversion of feed in the large intestine of pigs and by the microbial conversion of pig excreta under anaerobic conditions and in manure stores. Assuming that primary odour-causing compounds arise from an excess of degradable protein and a lack of specific fermentable carbohydrates during microbial fermentation, the main dietary components that can be altered to reduce odour are protein and fermentable carbohydrates. In the present paper we aim to give an up-to-date review of studies on the relationship between diet composition and odour production, with the emphasis on protein and fermentable carbohydrates. We hypothesise how odour might be changed and/or reduced by altering the diet of pigs. Research so far has mainly focused on the single effects of different levels of crude protein and fermentable carbohydrates on odour production. However, also important for odour formation are the sources of protein and fermentable carbohydrates. In addition, it is not only the amount and source of these compounds that is important, but also the balance between them. On the basis of our review of the literature, we hypothesise that odour nuisance from pig production facilities might be reduced significantly if there is an optimum balance between protein and fermentable carbohydrates in the diet of pigs.