The autofluorescence of fingermarks is used for their detection. The components responsible for this autofluorescence are largely unknown. Thin layer chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy were used to identify autofluorescent components and evaluate their forensic value. Based on our results, tryptophan is hypothesized to be a major contributor to the autofluorescence when part of peptides or proteins, id est, not in its free form. Part of the autofluorescence could be assigned to a kynurenine derivative. Pheophorbide A, a metabolite of chlorophyll, is inferred as a red fluorescent fingermark component. Chlorophyll is a plant pigment which implies that dietary information can potentially be retrieved from fingermarks.