Washington, September 16 : A new study has suggested that criminals who eat processed foods have 'sticky fingers', and are more likely to be discovered by police through their sweaty fingerprints, which are more likely to corrode metal.
The study has been carried out by Dr. John Bond of Northamptonshire Police Scientific Support and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leicester's Forensic Research Center.
Dr Bond is the inventor of a revolutionary new forensic fingerprinting technique that claims criminals who are fans of processed foods are more likely to be discovered by police through their fingerprint sweat.
According to Dr Bond, sweaty fingerprint marks made more of a corrosive impression on metal if they had a high salt content.
He revealed that he was currently in early talks with colleagues at the University of Leicester to assess whether a sweat mark left at a crime scene could be analyzed to reveal a 'sweat profile' i.e. more about the type of person who left the mark.
Dr Bond has developed a method that enables scientists to 'visualise fingerprints' even after the print itself has been removed. He and colleagues conducted a study into the way fingerprints can corrode metal surfaces.
The technique can enhance - after firing- a fingerprint that has been deposited on a small calibre metal cartridge case before it is fired.
"On the basis that processed foods tend to be high in salt as a preservative, the body needs to excrete excess salt which comes out as sweat through the pores in our fingers," said Dr Bond.
"So, the sweaty fingerprint impression you leave when you touch a surface will be high in salt if you eat a lot of processed foods -the higher the salt, the better the corrosion of the metal," he added.
Dr Bond added there was therefore an indirect link therefore between obesity and the chances of being caught of a crime.
"Other research has drawn links between processed foods and obesity and we know that consumers of processed foods will leave better fingerprints," he said.
Dr Bond said that there was scope to take his research further and to look at the constituents of sweat itself in order to profile an individual.
"This would be particularly helpful for terrorist type crimes where the nature of the incident would tend to obliterate forensic evidence," he said.
"So a sweat mark on a piece of metal or bomb fragment that might be recovered from an incident might be able to provide a clue to the type of person who perpetrated the incident," he added.