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Thread: Hydrochloric acid as a sweetener conundrum

  1. #1 Hydrochloric acid as a sweetener conundrum 
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    Aug 2008
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    I need help addressing this question:

    "During the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s, there was a sugar shortage in Europe because supply ships were blockaded from harbors. To create artificial sweeteners, German scientists hydrolyzed wheat starch. They did this by adding hydrochloric acid to heated starch solutions, which caused some of the glycosidic linkages between the glucose monomers to break. The process broke only about 50% of the glycosidic linkages, however, so the sweetener was less sweet than sugar. In addition, consumers complained of a slight bitterness resulting from by-products of the reaction.

    I'm supposed to sketch how was the acid able to break this bond, but I don't know the reason the acid was able to do it. And why was it able to break only 50% of the linkage in the wheat starch?

    I have no guess, as much as I try to study the different glycosidic linkages. I will appreciate a didactic answer


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