Genipin, a novel fingerprint reagent with colorimetric and fluorogenic activity, part II: optimization, scope and limitations

J Forensic Sci. 2005 Nov;50(6):1367-71.


Genipin, a hydrolytic product of geniposide extracted from gardenia fruit, was thoroughly studied as a potential fingerprint reagent, and optimal conditions for fingerprint development have been determined. Latent fingerprints on paper items that have been treated with a non-ink running formulation containing 0.17% of the reagent, showed up as both colored and fluorescent images. On brown wrapping paper and on papers with highly luminescent backgrounds, genipin developed more visible and clearer prints than did classical reagents such as ninhydrin or DFO. Another potential advantage of genipin is that it is totally harmless and an environmentally friendly reagent.

MeSH terms

  • Aza Compounds / chemistry
  • Dermatoglyphics*
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Iridoid Glycosides
  • Iridoids
  • Ninhydrin / chemistry
  • Paper
  • Pyrans / chemistry*
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Temperature


  • 1,8-diazafluoren-one
  • Aza Compounds
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Iridoid Glycosides
  • Iridoids
  • Pyrans
  • Solvents
  • genipin
  • Ninhydrin