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Forensic Sci Int. 1986 Jul 14;31(3):195-210.

Impurities, adulterants and diluents of illicit heroin in Denmark (Jutland and Funen).


The contents of impurities, adulterants and diluents in 77 samples of illicit heroin were determined by a combination of high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography. The origin of each sample was characterized by calculating the content of the opium alkaloids in relation to the heroin content. The routes of distribution were compared by determination of the contents of caffeine, procaine and sugars. The results were used as a "chemical fingerprint" of each sample. The results indicate that it is difficult to prove, with certainty, that two samples are identical. However, in most cases, by determining the amounts of impurities, adulterants and diluents in heroin samples, it will be possible to ascertain whether two samples are different and, in many cases, to determine with reasonable certainty whether two samples are identical.

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