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Galactose, a sugar containing six atoms of carbon in the molecule. It originally received the name lactose, but this is now applied to a totally different compound, milk sugar, from which galactose itself, together with the isomeric dextrose, may be prepared by boiling for some hours with a dilute acid. It has the same composition as dextrose, which it further resembles in its action on polarised light, being dextro-rotatory, in fermenting under the influence of yeast, and in reducing Fehling's solution (q.v.). It forms small prismatic crystals, which melt at 166, and which are soluble in water, though not as readily as dextrose. It yields by oxidation two acids - (1) galactonic acid, and (2) mucic acid, while by reduction it gives rise to a body of the nature of an alcohol, dulcitol (q.v.). It is estimated quantitatively in the same manner as dextrose.

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