Library Dissertation Showcase

Investigating the effects of mummification on paracetamol concentration in chicken breasts using different methods of administration

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

Mummification is considered one of the best methods for the preservation of muscle tissue in the history of Ancient Egypt. The process involves the dehydration of tissue using natron salt, made of sodium components. Toxicological analysis of drugs contribute to post-mortem autopsies, like paracetamol and other psychoactive substances. It is significant for forensic cases involving drug overdoses to determine manner of death. This study examines paracetamol in oversaturated quantities to determine drug concentration from mummified muscle, in order to identify possible cause of death. Raman spectroscopy was performed, both before and after mummification, to detect signals of the analgesic to show if it had been absorbed into the muscle. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was a confirmatory technique for Raman to quantify how much paracetamol was preserved in the chicken tissue using the concentration ranges of 0 – 100 μg/mL. Three administration methods were tested; injection was best administration with 50.31 μg/mL-1 in chicken tissue. The mean retention time was 1.921 minutes. The Raman spectra had peaks of paracetamol at 1619 cm-1 and 1660 cm-1. These techniques were successfully applied for the determination of paracetamol in mummified chicken tissue and natron salt, conclusively proving that you can detect an analgesic in varying concentrations in chicken tissue that has undergone mummification. The significance of this research could prove vital in toxicological analysis in terms of mummified remains preserving concentration; the manner of death, therefore, could be identified.

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