Objectives: The purpose of this study is to assess time-dependent changes in the morphology of bitemarks and to investigate the utility of matching bitemarks on both perishable and non-perishable objects with the passage of time at different temperatures.
Subjects and Methods: The study was conducted at Maharana Pratap College of Dentistry and Research Centre, Gwalior, India. 20 volunteers were asked to bite 6 items each. These included perishable and nonperishable items. Perishable items were apple, banana and Burfi, (a milk-based popular sweet confectionary) while non-perishable items included wax, clay, and rubber. Photographs were taken with a digital camera at 0-hours and 24-hours after biting these objects at temperature ranges of 24 ºC to 28 ºC and 36 ºC to 40 ºC, respectively. Life-size photographs of these bitten objects were printed on transparent overlays and compared to hand drawn transparencies prepared from suspect dentition using an X-ray viewer. The comparison of all the 960 transparencies was done by two researchers, independently.
Results: All objects gave a positive identification of the biter on matching just after biting. After24-hours, all items also showed positive matching except banana and apples.
Conclusion: This proposed method is simple, reliable and less technique sensitive. It narrows down the subjectivity of interpretation. It highlights that due to decomposition changes occur in perishable food items and more so in apples and bananas, making bitemarks less reliable evidence.