This change occurs in a cold, wet environment. The fat tissue beneath skin begins to saponify (turn into soap). It usually takes a minimum of a few weeks to develop, and will keep the body in a relatively preserved state for many months. Unlike normal decompositional changes, there is no green discoloration or significant bloating. The exterior of the body remains white and the outermost layers of the skin slip off. Bodies placed in cold water develop this change. It may also occur in bodies placed in plastic bags.
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