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International Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 283658, 4 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Two Methods for Assaying Reducing Sugars in the Determination of Carbohydrase Activities

1Department of Chemistry, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119991, Russia
2A. N. Bach Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119071, Russia

Received 17 January 2011; Accepted 6 April 2011

Academic Editor: P. Haglund

Copyright © 2011 Alexander V. Gusakov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Nelson-Somogyi (NS) and 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid (DNS) assays for reducing sugars are widely used in measurements of carbohydrase activities against different polysaccharides. Using twelve commercial enzyme preparations, the comparison of the NS and DNS assays in determination of cellulase, -glucanase, xylanase, and -mannanase activities was carried out. When cellulase activities against CMC were measured, the DNS assay gave activity values, which were typically 40–50% higher than those obtained with the NS assay. In the analysis of the xylanase, -mannanase, and -glucanase activities, the overestimations by the DNS assay were much more pronounced (the observed differences in the activities were 3- to 13-fold). Reasons for preferential use of the NS assay for measuring activities of carbohydrases other than cellulases are discussed.