David Marks Staff asked 4 years ago

How is the Ninhydrin test used

How is the Ninhydrin test used to identify lipids?

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I’d also like to know, what is the principle behind the Ninhydrin test and how will it react with a residue that came from the brain? Will it detect Sphingosine since it is amine alcohol? What is the reaction behind it?

1 Answers
David Marks Staff answered 4 years ago

Sphingolipids are a class of complex lipids primarily found in cell membranes and in the myeline sheath as Sphingomyeline. The basic Sphingolipid consist of the Sphingoid base. In certain diseased state Sphingosine can be released from a Sphingolipid and can be detected from Brain extracts as Sphingosine.
Ninhydrin is 2,2-Dihydroxyindane-1,3-dione and it reacts with ammonia, primary and secondary amines to give rise to aldehyde, carbon dioxide, water and the colored product. Alpha amino acids and primary amines typically produce a purple blue product on reacting with Ninhydrin.
For better understanding the Ninhydrin chemistry please refer the following:
http://www.jbc.org/content/25/2/337.full.pdf