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Iodine test

The Iodine test is used to test for the presence of starch. Iodine solution — iodine dissolved in an aqueous solution of potassium iodide — reacts with starch producing a deep blue-black color.

This reaction is the result of the formation of polyiodide chains from the reaction of starch and iodine. The amylose, or straight chain portion of starch, forms helices where iodine molecules assemble, forming a dark blue/black color. The amylopectin, or branched portion of starch, forms much shorter helices and iodine molecules are unable to assemble, leading the colour to be of an orange/yellow hue. As starch is broken down or hydrolyzed into smaller carbohydrate units, the blue-black color is not produced. Therefore, this test can determine completion of hydrolysis when a color change does not occur.

Iodine solution will also react with glycogen, although the color produced is browner and much less intense.


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