What Is Seliwanoff's Test?


Quick Answer

Seliwanoff's test is a chemical test that is performed to differentiate between a ketone hexose and aldehyde sugar. The test is named after the chemist who developed the test, Theodor Seliwanoff.

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Full Answer

In Selwanoff's test, ketone hexoses, which are carbohydrates with six carbons, will turn a deep red when they react with the reagent. An aldehyde hexose will turn a light pink when it reacts with the reagent. Ketone hexoses will form a color much more rapidly than the aldehyde hexoses.

To perform the test, chemists add about 2 milliliters to test tubes containing 10 drops of the sugar being tested. The test tubes are then heated in boiling water. After about 1 minute, the deep red will appear if a ketone hexose is present.

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