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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Gluconic acid is an organic compound with molecular formula C6H12O7 and condensed structural formula HOCH2(CHOH)4COOH.

  • In aqueous solution at neutral pH, gluconic acid forms the gluconate ion.

  • The salts of gluconic acid are known as "gluconates". Gluconic acid and gluconate salts occur widely in nature because such species arise from the oxidation of glucose.

  • Gluconate esters can also be formed, such as quinine gluconate which is used for intramuscular injection in the treatment of malaria.

  • Gluconic acid is a polyhydroxycarboxylic acid with six carbon length. It is derived from glucose by oxidation of the aldehyde group on the C-1 to a carboxyl group.

  • In aqueous solution, gluconic acid exists in equilibrium with the cyclic ester Glucono delta lactone.

Properties

  • Gluconic acid is a noncorrosive, nonvolatile, nontoxic, mild organic acid. It imparts a refreshing sour taste in many food items such as wine, fruit juices, etc.

  • Sodium gluconate as a high sequestering power.

  • Aqueous solutions of sodium gluconate are resistant to oxidation and reduction at high temperatures. It is an efficient plasticizer and a highly efficient set retarder.

Production

  • There are different approaches available for the production of gluconic acid, namely, chemical, electrochemical, biochemical and bioelectrochemical.

  • Commercially the physiological d-form gluconic acid is prepared by fermentation process.

  • Glucose is generally used as carbon source for microbial production of gluconic acid.

  • Gluconic acid is produced from glucose through a simple dehydrogenation reaction catalysed by glucose oxidase.

  • Gluconic acid production is an extremely oxygen- consuming process with a high oxygen demand for the bioconversion reaction, which is strongly influenced by the dissolved oxygen concentration.

  • Production of gluconic acid is directly linked with the glucose oxidase activity. Depending on the application, the fermentation broths containing sodium gluconate or calcium gluconate are produced by the addition of solutions of sodium hydroxide or calcium carbonate respectively, for neutralisation.

Applications

  • Gluconic acid is a mild organic acid, which finds applications in the food industry.

  • It is a natural constituent in fruit juices and honey and is used in the pickling of foods. Its inner ester, glucono-d-lactone imparts an initially sweet taste which later becomes slightly acidic.

  • It is used in meat and dairy products, particularly in baked goods as a component of leavening agent for preleavened products.

  • It is used as a flavouring agent and it also finds application in reducing fat absorption in doughnuts and cones.

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