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What is Putrefaction?

Decomposition is the decomposition of organic matter due to the action of microorganisms leading to the formation of a bad smell. It takes 10 to 20 days for an organism to die.

putrefaction stages

Degeneration involves cell breakdown, tissue breakdown and tissue dissolution. The action of putrefactive bacteria and fungi causes the body to decompose, releasing certain gases that enter and decompose tissues and organs Decomposition plays an important role in recycling nitrogen from dead organisms.

The time it takes to decompose depends on various factors such as temperature, humidity, light, age and cause of death.


Constant biochemical maintenance requires the body to use its chemical energy. If left unattended, it starts the filtering process.

The synthesis of proteins into water and amino acids is a voluntary process, facilitated by the various bacteria that live in the human intestine and that weakens and breaks down tissues. Increased protein breakdown causes certain organic substances and gases to be released by bacteria, which emit a foul odor when meat rots.

During this process, the skin tissues of the body are broken down and bacterial gases are released. Due to the continuous process of decay, the body eventually reaches a stage known as skeletonization, where only bones remain.


  • The degradation rate increases with increasing temperature. The optimum temperature for the decomposition process is between 21 degrees Celsius and 38 degrees Celsius.
  • If the body is immersed in water or not exposed to air, the decomposition process is slower. Moisture and air favor the growth of microorganisms and therefore accelerate decomposition.
  • Loose clothing helps maintain body temperature and accelerate decomposition. Tight clothing reduces blood flow to the tissues. Bacteria also have no nutrients to feed on.
  • The body of a person who dies young deteriorates faster than that of one who dies at an older age. Even embryos and babies slowly decompose. because they are sterile.
  • A fat body decomposes faster than a lean body. This is because fat holds more heat in the body and moves more water to the tissues.
  • Air is the most damaged, followed by soil, soil and water. Cooling the body slows down this process. This number increases in the tropics. Within 12-24 hours of exposure to air, the skin begins to show a green tint.
  • The most common sign of intestinal decay is an orange discoloration at the base of the liver.

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