Barfoed's Test - Qualitative Test in Carbohydrates


Barfoed's test is a copper reduction test but unlike Benedict's test, it is carried out in an acid (pH 4.6) rather than alkaline solution. This video lesson demonstrates the procedure in the qualitative test for carbohydrates. Barfoed's test distinguishes monosaccharides from disaccharides. The procedure covers the description of the laboratory instruments and materials that are used in such tests.


At the end of the procedure, an observation of the test result is made and interpreted and a well balaced reaction equation is obtained.

Author(s): George KoffuorView Details of Author
Year: 2012
Keywords: barfoed's test, monosaccharides, disaccharides, qualitative test, carbohydrates
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Barfoed's test distinguishes monosaccharides from disaccharides. It is a copper reduction test in which heating a mixture of monosaccharides in a given time interval results in the conversion of cupric ions in the Barfoed's reagent to cupruos ion with the formation of copper (I) oxide seen as a brick red precipitate in the mixture.


Unlike Benedict's test, copper reduction in the Barfoed's test occurs in an acidic medium (pH 4.6) rather than in an alkaline medium. The test however depends on the reduction of copper and differences in the rate of the reaction.




Distinguish between monosaccharides and disaccharides using the Barfoed's test.

Outline the test process.

Write a well balanced reaction equation for the test.


Lesson Content


Barfoed's Test (video)
Barfoed's Test






Dr. George Koffuor
Department of Pharmacology
College of Health Sciences - KNUST
Kumasi, Ghana

Student Volunteer


Christola Lord Acheampong
Department of Communication Design
Kumasi, Ghana


OER Technical Support




Benjamin Prempeh
OER Media Specialist
KNUST, Kumasi - Ghana

John Kofi Dogbey
Media Specialist
KNUST,Kumasi - Ghana

Voice Over

ella kasanga

Ella Kasanga
Kumasi, Ghana




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