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Rotten apple of the Elstar variety

As rot in is Ecology and Thanatology the at lack of oxygen running decomposition of biotic materials by microorganisms called. The decomposition with the formation of an unpleasant odor is often referred to as putrefaction. Putrefaction is a natural form of fermentation .

Word background

Fäulnis derives from Middle High German vūle "rot, rot", Middle High German / Old High German vūl / fūl "rotten, spoiled by rot; rotten, stinkend ”and Middle High German vūlen “ lazy, rotten ”, also rot, and already Middle High German rotten .

Chemical basics

The metabolic products resulting from putrefaction are above all

Many putrefaction products are volatile and are responsible for the unpleasant odor that is created during putrefaction processes. The microbial breakdown of proteins and amino acids creates unpleasant-smelling, poisonous gases such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, and animal and human corpses produce toxins such as cadaverine or putrescine .

In nature, putrefaction, playing alongside oxidative degradation processes that occur under oxygen consumption, an important role because they bio elements such as nitrogen , sulfur and phosphorus from dead organisms for plants convert usable inorganic substances. So- called digestion also plays an important role in biogas production .

If there is enough oxygen available, organic substances are completely broken down into carbon dioxide , water and urea . This process is known as putrefaction . The decomposition by the dead body's own supravital enzymes is known as autolysis .

When food is stored , putrefaction processes are undesirable because they spoil food and make it inedible. Diseases caused by putrefactive agents are known as sapronoses . The shelf life of foods can be extended through preservation processes , for example through refrigeration and through the use of preservatives that prevent or delay the metabolism, growth and multiplication of putrefactive agents in food.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: putrefaction  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Jürgen Martin: The 'Ulmer Wundarznei'. Introduction - Text - Glossary on a monument to German specialist prose from the 15th century. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1991 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 52), ISBN 3-88479-801-4 (also medical dissertation Würzburg 1990), p. 188.
  2. Wolfgang Legrum: Fragrances, between stink and fragrance , Vieweg + Teubner Verlag (2011) p. 65, ISBN 978-3-8348-1245-2 .