Chemical Properties Formation of Salt

Because amino acid molecules have carboxyl groups and amino groups, they are able to react with both acids and bases to form a corresponding salt. When the salts react with weak acid, such as acetic acid, and weak alkali, such as ammonia, they are generally unable to separate as crystals. When not only mineral acids but also benzoic sulfonic acid and picric acid reacts with amino acids, chemically stable and characteristic crystalline salts easily form, which are used as tools for separation and identification of various amino acids. With metallic ions, such as silver, lead, zinc, copper, and tungsten, amino acids form sparingly soluble complex salts, which can be used as tools for separation and colorimetric analysis to identify the respective amino acids.

In the copper complex, the a-carbon atom is activated to react with aldehyde, for example, the glycine-copper complex reacts with acetaldehyde to yield threonine.

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