Also found in: Medical, Wikipedia.


A change in the optical rotation of light that takes place in the solutions of freshly prepared sugars.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a gradual change in the optical activity of freshly prepared solutions of monosaccharides and some other optically active compounds. Mutarotation is a result of the inter-conversion of tautomeric forms of monosaccharides, leading to the establishment of a dynamic equilibrium between the forms. Thus, upon completion of mutarotation a solution of glucose has a specific rotation ]p20 of +52.5° and consists of 37 percent α-glucose with [α]p20 of +112° and 63 percent β-glucose with [a]p20 of +18.7°.

The rate of mutarotation depends on the temperature and nature of the solvent; it increases in the presence of acids and bases and particularly in the presence of bifunctional acid-base catalysts such as 2-oxypyridine. In living organisms, the mutarotation of monosaccharides and disaccharides is catalyzed by the enzyme aldose 1-epimerase.


Khimiia uglevodov. Moscow, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
mutarotation of sucrose in acid was studied using polarimetry.
GL was used when mutarotation was finished (about one hour after being solved) in order to always employ the same mixture of lactone and d-gluconic acid forms [30].
Isbell, A Note on the Purification of [alpha]-d-Xylose and its Mutarotation, Research Paper 723, J.
[2] investigated the mutarotation of [alpha]-D-glucose to [beta]-D-glucose and observed a 3-fold reaction rate enhancement.
The sensor geometry, diffusion distances through the hydrogel pad, glucose oxidase enzyme kinetics, glucose mutarotation kinetics, and electron transfer kinetics on the electrode all affect the dynamics of the measurement cycle.