from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A colorless, foul-smelling ptomaine, NH2(CH2)4NH2, produced in decaying animal tissue by the decarboxylation of ornithine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A diamine, NH2(CH2)4NH2 (1,4-diaminobutane or butanediamine). It is produced by the breakdown of amino acids in living and dead organisms.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a colorless crystalline ptomaine with a foul odor that is produced in decaying animal matter


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin putrēscere, to rot; see putrescent + -ine2.


  • One is called putrescine, the other is called cadaverine, very pungent smells.

    CNN Transcript Jul 22, 2008

  • Actually there is recent research showing that the use of native yeasts can sometimes produce some noxious substances known as biogenic amines, which include such wonderfully named compounds such as putrescine and cadaverine.

    I Guess Alice Feiring Doesn't Like Long Island Wine...Or Hasn't Tasted Much of It

  • Some, like the aptly-named "putrescine" and "cadaverine," develop early in the decomposition process.

    Science Blog - Science news straight from the source

  • A third: to pursue the biochemical breakthrough that will enable scientists to pinpoint time of death based on the level of once obscure gases, like putrescine and cadaverine.

    Down On The Body Farm

  • And that is what these dogs are recognizing, putrescine and cadaverine.

    CNN Transcript Jul 22, 2008

  • If nightsoil is unavailable, substitute a sealable plastic vessel containing a small amount of 1,4-diaminobutane putrescine, cadaverine, or other noxious nitrile of choice.

    Your Friday WTF, 11/23/07 « Whatever

  • And if there ` s putrescine or cadaverine on a child that ` s decomposing, and there ` s an inanimate object, there ` s a transfer, but that scent is so specific, and these dogs are trained for that.

    CNN Transcript Sep 17, 2007

  • There are three substances the body produces as it decomposes, cadaverine, spermine, putrescine.

    CNN Transcript Sep 17, 2007

  • They make fish inedible in a fraction of the time they take to spoil beef or pork, by consuming the savory free amino acids and then proteins and turning them into obnoxious nitrogen-containing substances (ammonia, trimethylamine, indole, skatole, putrescine, cadaverine) and sulfur compounds (hydrogen sulfide, skunky methanethiol).

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • The amino acids can in turn be broken into various amines, some of which are reminiscent of ocean fish (trimethylamine), others of spoiling meat (putrescine); into strong sulfur compounds (a specialty of smear bacteria), or into simple ammonia, a powerful aroma that in overripened cheeses is harsh, like household cleaner.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen


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