Seliwanoff's Test - Qualitative Test in Carbohydrates


This programme demonstrates in a video lesson the procedure in the qualitative test in carbohydrates using the Seliwanoff's Test. Seliwanoff's Test is a test to distinguish keto sugars form aldo sugars. Ketoses form furfurals more rapidly than aldoses. A compasison of the rate of colour formation is the bases of distinguishing between these two types of sugars.


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

Author(s): George KoffuorView Details of Author
Year: 2012
Keywords: Seliwanoff's test, aldo sugars, keto sugars,
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cc-by-nc© 2012, KNUST

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Seliwanoff's Test is a test to distinguish keto sugars form aldo sugars. Keto sugars dehydrate in the presence of concentrated acids to yield furfurals or their derivatives which reacts with resorcinol in Seliwanoff reagent to yield a cherry-red coloured complex seen as the positive result.


A cherry-red colour indicates the presence of ketohexoses. Ketopentoses yield blue-green solution whiles aldoses and disaccharides give no colour change.




Distinguish between aldo sugars and keto sugars.

Outline the test process.

Write a well balanced reaction equation for the test.


Lesson Content

Seliwanoff's Test (video)
Seliwanoff'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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