An Assay for the Estimation of Organic Content in Unknown Samples
Potassium dichromate, in an acidic solution will oxidize organic material. The reduction to chromate is associated with a color change, which can be measured as a change in absorbence using a spectrophotometer. The degree of change is linearly related to the total energy contained in a sample and this information can be used to predict the energy content of unknown samples. However, the slopes of these relationships are not identical for various compounds, and are significantly different for proteins and carbohydrates. It is hypothesized that these variations are due to differences in the reaction kinetics and that these differences can be used to predict the chemical composition of mixtures of proteins and carbohydrates.
Originally presented in the John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference - April 14, 2000 and used with permission.
William Schneider, '00. "An Assay for the Estimation of Organic Content in Unknown Samples" 2000