Reference : Volatile collection of cadaveric compounds
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Poster
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Chemistry
Volatile collection of cadaveric compounds
Dekeirsschieter, Jessica mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Sciences agronomiques > Entomologie fonctionnelle et évolutive >]
Verheggen, François mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Sciences agronomiques > Entomologie fonctionnelle et évolutive >]
Haubruge, Eric mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Services administratifs généraux > Vice-Recteur de Gembloux Agro Bio Tech - Entomologie fonctionnelle et évolutive >]
Journée scientifique annuelle de la société royale de chimie - Chimie verte
14 octobre 2010
[en] cadaveric VOCs ; odor analysis ; decay process ; pig carcasses ; thanatochemistry ; forensic science
[en] Thanatochemistry, also named ''chemistry of death'', is poorly studied and the available information regarding the volatile organic compounds (cadaveric VOCs) released after death are rather limited. Thanks to the use of analytical chemistry methods ((TDS)GC-MS, GCxGC-TOF-MS), the olfactive signature of a dead body may be studied during the decomposition process. Different volatile collection techniques are used to study the smell of death. There are passive sampling techniques (Radiello® diffusive sampler) and dynamic sampling technique (pump device). The smell of death is constituted by a blend of hundreds of volatile organic compounds which change during the decay process. Main products detected are sulphur compounds such as sulphur dioxide, dimethyldisulfide and dimethyltrisulfide; alcools (1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol), acids (butanoic acid, 2-methylbutanoic acid, 3-methylbutanoic acid and propanoic acid). Many cyclic hydrocarbons were detected: indole, phenol, p-cresol and piperidin-2-one are some examples. The aldehydes are also present, overall butanal, hexanal, heptanal and nonanal. We however found no trace of cadaverine or putrescine. Our results may have potential implication in a better understanding of the olfactive signature of a human or animal cadaveric corpse. Especially in the field of forensic entomology, these chemical compounds may have an attractive role on the necrophagous insect behaviour. Further studies based on the relationships that may exist between cadaveric VOCs and necrophagous insects are currently conducted at the Department of functional and evolutionary Entomology (GxABT, Ulg).
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