Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The discovery of glucose

In 1600, the French agronomist Olivier de Serres noted that ‘‘The beet on being cooked yields a syrup which is beautiful to look at on account of its vermillion color’’. This observation was expanded upon by Andreas Marggraf, who succeeded in crystallizing sugar from beet roots in 1717 and then subsequently from raisins.

Glucose was first isolated in 1747 from raisins by the German pharmacist Andreas Marggraf. In that year he isolated sucrose from sugar beets, arguably his most influential discovery, as it has revolutionized the modern sugar industry with the process, he used to extract such sugar. In that same year, he experimented with raisins to extract glucose. Raisins are comprised of many molecules, including many sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose.

After 1811 various researchers established that the sugar of grapes, honey, urine of diabetics and the acid hydrolysis of starch and cellulose were all identical.

The name glucose was coined in 1838 by French chemist Jean Dumas, from the Greek word gleucos, which means ‘sweet’ or ‘sugar,’ and the structure was discovered by Emil Fischer around the turn of the century.
The discovery of glucose

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