A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method for the detection of adipocere in grave soils

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Journal Article
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 2003, 105 (12), pp. 761 - 768
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Adipocere refers to a decomposition product, which forms due to the post-mortem conversion of adipose tissue into a lipid mixture. During the conversion process, triglycerides present in the adipose tissue convert to free fatty acids via hydrolysis. Under the right conditions, hydrogenation of the free fatty acids will yield adipocere, which is chiefly comprised of saturated fatty acids. In a burial environment, adipocere may form macroscopically on the decomposing remains, but may also leach into the surrounding soil. This paper describes the development of a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method which allows for the quantitative analysis of trace levels of adipocere in grave soils.
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