A preliminary investigation of the stages of adipocere formation

Publisher:
Amer Soc Testing Materials
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal Of Forensic Sciences, 2004, 49 pp. 566 - 574
Issue Date:
2004-01
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Adipocere is a postmortem decomposition porduct which forms from a body's adipose tissue. This study aimed to chemically demonstrate the process of conversion from adipose tissue to adipocere. Samples of adipocere were collected from pig cadavers that were allowed to decompose fro varying internals. Samples of soil were collected from beneath the cadavers and analused to determine the leaching effect of adipocere. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was used to quantify the fatty acid composition of pig adipocere. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used as a confirmatory test to identify other components such as triglycerides and aclcium salts of fatty acids. The study demonstrates the process of adipocere formation and the stages of formation through which the process passes using chemical techniques.
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