A chemical test to detect reducing sugars and aldehydes in solution, devised by the German chemist H. C. von Fehling (1812–85). Fehling's solution consists of Fehlings A (copper(II) sulphate solution) and Fehling's B (alkaline 2,3-dihydroxybutanedioate (sodium tartrate) solution), equal amounts of which are added to the test solution. After boiling, a positive result is indicated by the formation of a brick-red precipitate of copper(I) oxide. Methanal, being a strong reducing agent, also produces copper metal; ketones do not react. The test is now little used, having been replaced by Benedict's test.
Subjects: Chemistry — Biological Sciences.