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  •  Ninhydrin (2,2-Dihydroxyindane-1,3-dione) is a chemical used to detect ammonia or primary and secondary amines. When reacting with these free amines, a deep blue or purple color known as Ruhemann's purple is produced.

  • It is a white solid which is soluble in ethanol and acetone at room temperature. [2] Ninhydrin can be considered as the hydrate of indane-1,2,3-trione.

  • Ninhydrin is prepared by oxidation of bis indane 1,3-dione with an oxidising agent in the presence of a catalyst.

  • Ninhydrin is most commonly used to detect fingerprints, as the terminal amines of lysine residues in peptides and proteins sloughed off in fingerprints react with ninhydrin.

  • When ninhydrin reacts with amino acids, the reaction also releases CO2. The carbon in this CO2 originates from the carboxyl carbon of the amino acid. This reaction has been used to release the carboxyl carbons of bone collagen from ancient bones for stable isotope analysis in order to help reconstruct the palaeodiet of cave bears.

  • A color-developing solution for use in automatic amino acid anlaysis by liquid chromatography, which comprises ninhydrin, an organic solvent.

  • A ninhydrin solution is commonly used by forensic investigators in the analysis of latent fingerprints on porous surfaces such as paper.

  • Ninhydrin used for preparation of hydrindantin by reduction of ninhydrin with ascorbic acid.

  • It is widely used in the analytical chemistry as a reagent for detecting various substances by TLC. Spraying the TLC patterns with ninhydrin reveals the spot of amino acids, peptides, ephedrine, caffeine, morphine, tauphon, neomycin.

  • Photography of latent prints developed with ninhydrin may be enhanced by using a dark green filter with black and white film may improve the contrast.

  • Ninhydrin has been used to detect the presence of soils associated with decomposing bodies(gravesoils).

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