Benedict's solution, deep-blue alkaline solution used to test for the presence of the aldehyde functional group, - CHO. The substance to be tested is heated with Benedict's solution; formation of a brick-red precipitate indicates presence of the aldehyde group. Since simple sugars (e.g., glucose) give a positive test, the solution is used to test for the presence of glucose in urine, a symptom of diabetes. One liter of Benedict's solution contains 173 grams sodium citrate, 100 grams sodium carbonate, and 17.3 grams cupric sulfate pentahydrate. It reacts chemically like Fehling's solution; the cupric ion (complexed with citrate ions) is reduced to cuprous ion by the aldehyde group (which is oxidized), and precipitates as cuprous oxide, Cu2O.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.