Carbohydrates - Bial's Test
Shows positive test for:
The test reagent dehydrates pentoses to form furfural. Furfural further reacts with orcinol and the iron ion present in the test reagent to produce a bluish product (reaction not shown).
How to perform the test:
Two ml of a sample solution is placed in a test tube. Two ml of Bial's reagent (a solution of orcinol, HCl and ferric chloride) is added. The solution is then heated gently in a Bunsen Burner or hot water bath. If the color is not obvious, more water can be added to the tube.
A positive test is indicated by:
The formation of a bluish product. All other colors indicate a negative result for pentoses. Note that hexoses generally react to form green, red, or brown products.
two negative tests (left, middle) and a positive test (right)