Monosaccharides Are Reducing Agents

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T Monosaccharides can be oxidized by relatively mild oxidizing agents such as ferric (Fe3+) or cupric (Cu2+) ion (Fig. 7-10a). The carbonyl carbon is oxidized to a carboxyl group. Glucose and other sugars capable of reducing ferric or cupric ion are called reducing sugars. This property is the basis of Fehling's reaction, a qualitative test for the presence of reducing sugar. By measuring the amount of oxidizing agent reduced by a solution of a sugar, it is also possible to estimate the concentration of that sugar. For many years this test was used to detect and measure elevated glucose levels in blood and urine in the diagnosis of dia-

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