It is oxidized by nitric acid to d-saccharic and mucic acids; and acetic anhydride gives an octa-acetate.
In 1780 he proved that the acidity of sour milk is due to what was afterwards called lactic acid; and by boiling milk sugar with nitric acid he obtained mucic acid.
When oxidized this aldohexose is first converted into the monobasic galactonic acid, and then into dibasic mucic acid; the latter is optically inactive, so that its configuration must be one of those given in the sixth and seventh columns of the table.
Sulphuric acid converts it into l-arabinose; and nitric acid oxidizes it to oxalic acid (without the intermediate formation of mucic acid as in the case of gum arable).
They yield mucic and oxalic acids when treated with nitric acid.
Linseed does not give the latter reaction; by treatment with boiling nitric acid it yields mucic and oxalic acids.