a method of synthesizing α-amino acids from aldehydes and ketones. For exampie,
where R and R’ is H, an aliphatic, alicyclic, or aromatic radical. The reaction is run in aqueous mediums at 0°-20°C and takes several hours. Alpha-aminonitriles (I), which are further hydrolyzed to cramino acids (II), are formed with a yield of 60–90 percent. The Zelinskii-Stadnikov reaction is an improved form of the method of cyanohydrin synthesis of α-amino acids developed by the German chemist A. Strecker in 1850. The reaction was discovered by N. D. Zelinskii and G. Stadnikov in 1906.