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Glucose
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 19 February 2011 13:41

Glucose is a basic necessity of many organisms, a correct understanding of its chemical makeup and structure contributed greatly to a general advancement in organic chemistry. This understanding occurred largely as a result of the investigations of Emil Fischer, a German chemist who received the 1902 Nobel Prize in Chemistry as a result of his findings. The synthesis of glucose established the structure of organic material and consequently formed the first definitive validation of Jacobus Henricus van't Hoff's theories of chemical kinetics and the arrangements of chemical bonds in carbon-bearing molecules. Between 1891 and 1894, Fischer established the stereochemical configuration of all the known sugars and correctly predicted the possible isomers, applying van't Hoff's theory of asymmetrical carbon atoms.

Glucose is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) and an important carbohydrate in biology. Cells use it as a source of energy and a metabolic intermediate. Glucose is one of the main products of photosynthesis and starts cellular respiration.

Glucose exists in several different structures, but all of these structures can be divided into two families of mirror-images (stereoisomers). Only one set of these isomers exists in nature, those derived from the "right-handed form" of glucose, denoted D-glucose. D-glucose is often referred to as dextrose. The term dextrose is derived from dextrorotatory glucose. Solutions of dextrose rotate polarized light to the right (in Latin: dexter = "right"). Starch and cellulose are polymers derived from the dehydration of D-glucose. The other stereoisomer, called L-glucose, is hardly found in nature.

The name "glucose" comes from the Greek word glukus (γλυκύς), meaning "sweet". The suffix "-ose" denotes a sugar. The name "dextrose" and the 'D-' prefix come from Latin dexter ("right"), referring to the handedness of the molecules.

All forms of glucose are colorless and easily soluble in water, acetic acid, and several other solvents. They are only sparingly soluble in methanol and ethanol.

Glucose is produced commercially via the enzymatic hydrolysis of starch. Many crops can be used as the source of starch. Maize, rice, wheat, cassava, corn husk and sago are all used in various parts of the world. In the United States, cornstarch (from maize) is used almost exclusively. Most commercial glucose occurs as a component of invert sugar, an approximately 1:1 mixture of glucose and fructose. In principle, cellulose could be hydrolysed to glucose, but this process is not yet commercially practical

In industry, glucose is used as a precursor to make vitamin C in the Reichstein process, to make citric acid, gluconic acid, bio-ethanol, polylactic acid, sorbitol.

(Courtesy wikipedia)

 
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