The natural (laevo) base is twice as toxic as the dextro.
All albumins are laevo-rotatory; and on incineration a small amount of inorganic ash is invariably left.
The name is applied in commerce to a complex mixture of carbohydrates obtained by boiling starch with dilute mineral acids; in chemistry, it denotes, with the prefixes d, 1 and d+l (or i), the dextro-rotatory, laevo-rotatory and inactive forms of the definite chemical compound defined above.
The inactive mixture may be resolved into its active components by fractional crystallization of the cinchonine salt, when the salt of the dextro modification separates first; or the ammonium salt may be fermented by Penicillium glaucum, when the laevo form is destroyed and the dextro form remains untouched; on the other' hand, Saccharomyces ellipsoideus destroys the dextro form, but does not touch the laevo form.
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