Oxidation Reactions of Sugars

The oxidation of sugars provides energy in cellular respiration. Sugars are also the precursors to the other organic molecules in organisms. Stepwise oxidation of an alcohol function group in a sugar produces an aldehyde or ketone. An aldehyde can be oxidized to a carboxylic acid group.


Watch the video on the reaction between sugar (in a gummy worm) and a strong oxidizing agent, KClO3.

All the carbons in the sugar are oxidized to carbon dioxide and a great deal of energy is released.

Professor Patricia Shapley, University of Illinois, 2012