Lime is a term referring to a number of different fruits, both species and hybrids and generally citruses, which have their origin in the Himalayan region of India and which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and generally containing sour and acidic pulp. They are frequently associated with the lemon. Limes are often used to accent the flavours of foods and beverages. They are usually smaller than lemons, and a good source of vitamin C. Limes are grown all year round and are usually sweeter than lemons. Limes are a small citrus fruit, Citrus aurantifolia, whose skin and flesh are green in colour and which have an oval or round shape with a diameter between one to two inches. Limes can either be sour or sweet, with the latter not readily available in the United States. Sour limes possess a greater sugar and citric acid content than lemons and feature an acidic and tart taste, while sweet limes lack citric acid content and are sweet in flavour. Zesting a lime In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest. It is a very common ingredient in authentic Mexican, Southwestern United States, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes. It is also used for its pickling properties in ceviche. Additionally, the leaves of lime are used in southeast Asian cuisine. The use of dried limes (called black lime or loomi) as a flavouring is typical of Persian cuisine and Iraqi cuisine, as well as in Gulf-style baharat (a spice mixture that is also called kabsa or kebsa). Limes are also an essential element in Tamil cuisine. Lime leaves are also a herb in South, East, and particularly Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, people have boiled chicken with lime leaves and a mixture of salt, black pepper and lime juice. Taboo In India, the lime is used in Tantra for removing evil spirits. It is also combined with Indian chilis to make a protective charm to repel the evil eye. Other uses In order to prevent scurvy during the 19th century, British sailors were issued a daily allowance of citrus such as lime (presumably Citrus aurantifolia) , which led in time to the nickname "limey" for all Britons. It was later discovered that this beneficial effect derived from the quantities of Vitamin C the fruit contains. Lime extracts and essential oils are frequently used in perfumes, cleaning products, and aromatherapy. Lime is also used occasionally to enhance vision by many Asian martial artists.[who?] It is done by squeezing a drop or two on the inside corner of the eye. The lemon is a small evergreen tree (Citrus limon) originally native to Asia, and is also the name of the tree's oval yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and nonculinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind (zest) are also used, mainly in cooking and baking. Lemon juice is about 5% (approximately 0.3 mole per liter) citric acid, which gives lemons a tart taste, and a pH of 2 to 3. This makes lemon juice an inexpensive, readily available acid for use in educational science experiments. Because of the tart flavor, many lemon-flavored drinks and candies are available, including lemonade. Two lemons, one whole and one sliced in half The exact origin of the lemon has remained a mystery, though it is widely presumed that lemons first grew in India, northern Burma, and China. In South and South East Asia, it was known for its antiseptic properties and it was used as an antidote for various poisons. It was later introduced to Persia and then to Iraq and Egypt around AD 700. The lemon was first recorded in literature in a tenth century Arabic treatise on farming, and was also used as an ornamental plant in early Islamic gardens. It was distributed widely throughout the Arab world and the Mediterranean region between AD 1000 and AD 1150. Citrus x limon flowers. Pickled lemons, a Moroccan delicacy Lemons entered Europe (near southern Italy) no later than the first century AD, during the time of Ancient Rome. However, they were not widely cultivated. The first real lemon cultivation in Europe began in Genoa in the middle of the fifteenth century. It was later introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola along his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New World helped spread lemon seeds. It was mainly used as ornament and medicine. In 1700s and late 1800s, lemons were increasingly planted in Florida and California when lemons began to be used in cooking and flavoring. In 1747, James Lind's experiments on seamen suffering from scurvy involved adding Vitamin C to their diets through lemon juice. Etymology Lemon : Its Origin is in 1350–1400; 1905–10. According to www.dictionary.com: Although we know neither where the lemon was first grown nor when it first came to Europe, we know from its name that it came to us from the Middle East because we can trace its etymological path. One of the earliest occurrences of our word is found in a Middle English customs document of 1420-1421. The Middle English word limon goes back to Old French limon, showing that yet another delicacy passed into England through France. The Old French word probably came from Italian limone, another step on the route that leads back to the Arabic word laymun or limun, which comes from the Persian word limun. Varieties Meyer lemon - Is a cross between a lemon and possibly an orange or a mandarin, was named for Frank N. Meyer who first discovered it in 1908. Thin-skinned and slightly less acidic than the Lisbon and Eureka lemons, Meyer lemons require more care when shipping and are not widely grown on a commercial basis. Lisbon - A good quality bitter lemon with high juice and acid levels. The fruits of Eureka and Lisbon are very similar. Vigorous and productive, trees are very thorny particularly when young. Eureka Verna - A Spanish variety of unknown origin. Bush Lemon Tree - Naturalized lemon grown wild in subtropical Australia. They are very hardy, have a thick skin with a true lemon flavour. Grows to about 4m in a sunny position. The skin makes a good zest for cooking. Villafranca Lemonade West Indian or Mexican or Key Tahitian or Persian Nutritional Value and Health Benefits Water - 89% Citric Acid - 5% Dietary fiber - 2.8% Sugar - 2.5% Fat - less than 0.3% Protein - less than 1% Vitamin C - Trace amounts of selenium, zinc, manganese and copper. Vitamin C in lemons varies. Dependent on size or maturity, ripeness, variety and parts consumed. Consumption of mature lemons can provide 10,000%+ daily Vitamin C content. Notable is the white coating or inner rind of the lemon. Which contains the highest vitamin content per volume of most any food. Some studies show that the white coating of a single lemon can contain 8-11x the amount of Vitamin C as an entire bottle of Vitamin C supplements. Lemons are widely known as a powerful digestive aid. The combination of high acidity and fiber are effective in cleansing digestion organs. Culinary uses Lemon marmalade on a slice of bread Indian Vegetable Salad containing Lemon, Tomato, Radish, Beetroot, Cucumber and Green Chillies Lemons are used to make lemonade, and as a garnish for drinks. Lemon zest has many uses. Many mixed drinks, soft drinks, iced tea, and water are often served with a wedge or slice of lemon in the glass or on the rim. The average lemon contains approximately 3 tablespoons of juice. Allowing lemons to come to room temperature before squeezing (or heating briefly in a microwave) makes the juice easier to extract. Lemons left unrefrigerated for long periods of time are susceptible to mold. Fish are marinated in lemon juice to neutralize the odor. The acid neutralizes the amines in fish by converting them into nonvolatile ammonium salts. File:Qarun Lake 22.PNG For medical uses, lemons are dried in the sun in al-Fayoum city, Egypt Lemon juice, alone or in combination with other ingredients, is used to marinate meat before cooking: the acid provided by the juice partially hydrolyzes the tough collagen fibers in the meat (tenderizing the meat), though the juice does not have any antibiotic effects. Lemons, alone or with oranges, are used to make marmalade. The grated rind of the lemon, called lemon zest, is used to add flavor to baked goods, puddings, rice and other dishes. Pickled lemons are a Moroccan delicacy. A liqueur called limoncello, typical of southern Italy, is made from lemon rind. When lemon juice is sprinkled on certain foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados, the acid acts as a short-term preservative by denaturing the enzymes that cause browning and degradation. Non-culinary uses A lemon orchard in the Galilee of Israel. Lemon in the process of ripening Citric acid - Lemons were the primary commercial source of this substance prior to the development of fermentation-based processes. Lemon battery - A popular science experiment in schools involves attaching electrodes to a lemon and using it as a battery to produce electricity. Although very low power, several lemons used in this way can power a small digital watch . These experiments also work with other fruits and vegetables. Sanitary kitchen deodorizer - deodorize, remove grease, bleach stain, and disinfect; when mixed with baking soda, lemon can remove stains from plastic food storage containers. Insecticide - The d-limonene in lemon oil is used as a non-toxic insecticide treatment. See orange oil. Antibacterial uses because it has a low pH Wood treatment - the traditional lemon oil used on the unsealed rosewood fingerboards of guitars and other stringed instruments is not made from lemons. It's a different product altogether, made from mineral oil and a solvent, usually naphtha, and got its name from its color and tart smell, and should not be confused with the corrosive oil of lemons. A halved lemon is used as a finger moistener for those counting large amounts of bills such as tellers and cashiers. Aromatherapy - In one of the most comprehensive scientific investigations done yet, researchers at Ohio State University reveal that lemon oil aroma does not influence the human immune system but may enhance mood. A halved lemon dipped in salt or baking powder can be used to brighten copper cookware. The acid cuts through the tarnish and the abrasives assist the cleaning. Lemon juice may also be used lighten hair color. Lemon alternatives Several other plants have a similar taste to lemons. In recent times, the Australian bush food lemon myrtle has become a popular alternative to lemons. The crushed and dried leaves and edible essential oils have a strong, sweet lemon taste but contain no citric acid. Lemon myrtle is popular in foods that curdle with lemon juice, such as cheesecake and ice cream. Limes are often used instead of lemons. Many other plants are noted to have a lemon-like taste or scent. Among them are Cymbopogon (lemon grass), lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, scented geraniums, certain cultivars of basil, and certain cultivars of mint. Citric acid is a weak organic acid, and it is a natural preservative and is also used to add an acidic, or sour, taste to foods and soft drinks. In biochemistry, it is important as an intermediate in the citric acid cycle and therefore occurs in the metabolism of virtually all living things. It can also be used as an environmentally benign cleaning agent. Citric acid exists in greater than trace amounts in a variety of fruits and vegetables, most notably citrus fruits. Lemons and limes have particularly high concentrations of the acid; it can constitute as much as 8% of the dry weight of these fruits (about 47 g/L in the juices ). The concentrations of citric acid in citrus fruits range from 0.005 mol/L for oranges and grapefruits to 0.30 mol/L in lemons and limes. Within species these values vary depending on the cultivar and the circumstances in which the fruit was grown. Citric acid crystal under polarized light, enlarged 200x At room temperature, citric acid is a white crystalline powder. It can exist either in an anhydrous (water-free) form or as a monohydrate. The anhydrous form crystallizes from hot water, where as the monohydrate forms when citric acid is crystallized from cold water. The monohydrate can be converted to the anhydrous form by heating above 78 °C. Citric acid also dissolves in absolute (anhydrous) ethanol (76 parts of citric acid per 100 parts of ethanol) at 15 degrees Celsius. In chemical structure, citric acid shares the properties of other carboxylic acids. When heated above 175°C, it decomposes through the loss of carbon dioxide and water. Citric acid leaves a white crystalline precipitate. Measurement Citric acid has been used as an additive to soft drinks, beer, and seltzer, and occurs naturally in many juices. This causes a problem in measurement because the standard measuring technique for sugar is refractive index. The refractive index of sugar and citric acid is almost identical. For soft drinks and orange juice the best measure of sweetness is the sugar/acid ratio. Recently, the use of infrared sensors has allowed measurement of both Brix (sugar content) and acidity by detecting sugars and citric acid through their characteristic molecular vibrations; this gives an accurate assessment of a drink's sweetness. History Lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits contain high concentrations of citric acid The discovery of citric acid has been credited to the 8th century Persian alchemist Jabir Ibn Hayyan (Geber). Medieval scholars in Europe were aware of the acidic nature of lemon and lime juices; such knowledge is recorded in the 13th century encyclopedia Speculum Majus (The Great Mirror), compiled by Vincent of Beauvais. Citric acid was first isolated in 1784 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, who crystallized it from lemon juice. Industrial-scale citric acid production began in 1890 based on the Italian citrus fruit industry. In 1893, C. Wehmer discovered that Penicillium mold could produce citric acid from sugar. However, microbial production of citric acid did not become industrially important until World War I disrupted Italian citrus exports. In 1917, the American food chemist James Currie discovered that certain strains of the mold Aspergillus niger could be efficient citric acid producers, and Pfizer began industrial-level production using this technique two years later, followed by Citrique Belge in 1929. In this production technique, which is still the major industrial route to citric acid used today, cultures of Aspergillus niger are fed on a sucrose or glucose-containing medium to produce citric acid. The source of sugar is corn steep liquor, molasses, hydrolyzed corn starch or other inexpensive sugary solutions. After the mould is filtered out of the resulting solution, citric acid is isolated by precipitating it with lime (calcium hydroxide) to yield calcium citrate salt, from which citric acid is regenerated by treatment with sulfuric acid.
Krebs cycle Main article: Citric acid cycle Citric acid is one of a series of compounds involved in the physiological oxidation of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to carbon dioxide and water. This series of chemical reactions is central to nearly all metabolic reactions, and is the source of two-thirds of the food-derived energy in higher organisms. Hans Adolf Krebs received the 1953 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery. The series of reactions is known by various names, including the citric acid cycle, the Krebs cycle, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle (or TCA cycle). Uses In 2007, world wide annual production stands at approximately 1,700,000 MT. More than 50% of this volume is being produced in China. More than 50% is being used as acidulent in beverages and some 20% in other food applications. 20% is being used for detergent applications and 10% for other non-food related applications like cosmetics, pharma and in the chemical industry. Food additive As a food additive, citric acid is used as a flavoring and preservative in food and beverages, especially soft drinks. It is denoted by E number E330. Citrate salts of various metals are used to deliver those minerals in a biologically available form in many dietary supplements. The buffering properties of citrates are used to control pH in household cleaners and pharmaceuticals. In the United States the purity requirements for citric acid as a food additive are defined by the Food Chemical Codex (FCC), which is published by the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP). Can be used for cherry packing. The market name is color guard. Water softening Citric acid's ability to chelate metals makes it useful in soaps and laundry detergents. By chelating the metals in hard water, it lets these cleaners produce foam and work better without need for water softening. In a similar manner, citric acid is used to regenerate the ion exchange materials used in water softeners by stripping off the accumulated metal ions as citrate complexes.The saturation point for citric acid and water is 59% Others Citric acid is used in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry to passivate high-purity process piping (in lieu of using nitric acid). Nitric acid is considered hazardous to dispose once used for this purpose, while citric acid is not. Citric acid is the active ingredient in some bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. A solution with a 6% concentration of citric acid will remove hard water stains from glass without scrubbing. In industry it is used to dissolve rust from steel. Citric acid is commonly used as a buffer to increase the solubility of brown heroin. Single-use citric acid sachets have been used as an inducement to get heroin users to exchange their dirty needles for clean needles in an attempt to decrease the spread of AIDS and hepatitis . Other acidifiers used for brown heroin are ascorbic acid, acetic acid, and lactic acid; in their absence, a drug user will often substitute lemon juice or vinegar.
Citric acid is one of the chemicals required for the synthesis of HMTD, a highly heat-, friction-, and shock-sensitive explosive similar to acetone peroxide. For this reason, purchases of large quantities of citric acid may rouse suspicion of potential terrorist activity. Citric acid can be added to ice cream to keep fat globules separate, and can be added to recipes in place of fresh lemon juice as well. Citric acid is used along with sodium bicarbonate in a wide range of effervescent formulae, both for ingestion (e.g., powders and tablets) and for personal care (e.g., bath salts, bath bombs, and cleaning of grease).
Citric acid is commonly employed in wine production as a substitute or improver where fruits containing little or no natural acidity are used. It is mostly used for inexpensive wines due to its low cost of production. Citric acid can be used in shampoo to wash out wax and coloring from the hair. It is notably used in the product "Sun-in" for bleaching, but is generally not recommended due to the amount of damage it causes. Citric acid is also used as a stop bath as part of the process for developing photographic film. The developer is normally alkaline, so a mild acid will neutralize it, increasing the effectiveness of the stop bath when compared to plain water. Citric acid is used as one of the active ingredients in the production of anti-viral tissues. Citric acid can be used in food coloring to balance the pH level of the normally basic dye. Citric acid may be used as the main ripening agent in the first steps of making mozzarella cheese. Citric acid was the first successful eluant used for total ion-exchange separation of the lanthanides, during the Manhattan Project in the 1940s. In the 1950s, it was replaced by the far more efficient EDTA. Citric acid is used as a good alternative to nitric acid in the process of stainless steel passivation (ie "Citrisurf") Citric acid can be used as a delay to prompt natural cement. It can delay the very rapid setting time substantially. Citric acid is one of several acids that is used by home brewers to modify brewing water for making beer. Safety Contact with dry citric acid or with concentrated solutions can result in skin and eye irritation, so protective clothing should be worn when handling these materials. Excessive consumption is capable of eroding the tooth enamel. Contact to the eyes can cause a burning sensation, and may cause blindness with prolonged exposure in extremely high concentrations (as anything with low enough pH will).
Sometimes a high concentration of citric acid can damage hair and bleach it. The leaflet of Villejuif Main article: The leaflet of Villejuif
The leaflet of Villejuif (also known as the flyer of Villejuif or the list of Villejuif) was a scientifically inaccurate rumour, passed via a leaflet or flyer, that caused mass panic in Europe in the 1980s as it included common unharmful chemical substances such as citric acid (E330) in a list of 10 dangerous carcinogens.
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus ×?sinensis (syn. Citrus aurantium L. var. dulcis L., or Citrus aurantium Risso) and its fruit. The orange is a hybrid of ancient cultivated origin, possibly between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and tangerine (Citrus reticulata). It is a small flowering tree growing to about 10 m tall with evergreen leaves, which are arranged alternately, of ovate shape with crenulate margins and 4–10 cm long. The orange fruit is a hesperidium, a type of berry.
Oranges originated in Southeast Asia. The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange. The name is thought to ultimately derive from the Sanskrit for the orange tree, with its final form developing after passing through numerous intermediate languages.
In a number of languages, it is known as a "Chinese apple" (e.g. Dutch Sinaasappel, "China's apple"). Orange fruit and cross section All citrus trees are of the single genus, Citrus, and remain largely interbreedable; that is, there is only one "superspecies" which includes grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges. Nevertheless, names have been given to the various members of the genus, oranges often being referred to as Citrus sinensis and Citrus aurantium. Fruits of all members of the genus Citrus are considered berries because they have many seeds, are fleshy and soft, and derive from a single ovary. An orange seed is called a pip. The white thread-like material attached to the inside of the peel is called pith.
Varieties Blood orange Main article: Blood orange The blood orange has streaks of red in the fruit, and the juice is often a dark burgundy colour. The fruit has found a niche as an interesting ingredient variation on traditional Seville marmalade, with its striking red streaks and distinct flavour. The scarlet navel is a variety with the same dual-fruit mutation as the navel orange.
Navel orange A peeled sectioned navel orange. The underdeveloped twin is located on the bottom right. A single mutation in 1820 in an orchard of sweet oranges planted at a monastery in Brazil yielded the navel orange, also known as the Washington, Riverside, or Bahia navel. The mutation causes the orange to develop a second orange at the base of the original fruit, opposite the stem, as a conjoined twin in a set of smaller segments embedded within the peel of the larger orange. From the outside, it looks similar to the human navel, hence its name.
Because the mutation left the fruit seedless, and therefore sterile, the only means available to cultivate more of this new variety is to graft cuttings onto other varieties of citrus tree. Two such cuttings of the original tree were transplanted to Riverside, California in 1870, which eventually led to worldwide popularity.
Today, navel oranges continue to be produced via cutting and grafting. This does not allow for the usual selective breeding methodologies, and so not only do the navel oranges of today have exactly the same genetic makeup as the original tree, and are therefore clones, all navel oranges can be considered to be the fruit of that single over-a-century-old tree. This is similar to the common yellow seedless banana, the Cavendish. On rare occasions, however, further mutations can lead to new varieties.
Persian orange The Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe after its introduction to Italy in the 11th century, was bitter. Sweet oranges brought to Europe in the 15th century from India by Portuguese traders quickly displaced the bitter, and are now the most common variety of orange cultivated. The sweet orange will grow to different sizes and colours according to local conditions, most commonly with ten carpels, or segments, inside.
Some South East Indo-European tongues name orange after Portugal, which was formerly the main source of imports of sweet oranges. Examples are Bulgarian portokal [????????], Greek portokali [p??t?????], Persian porteqal [??????], Albanian "portokall", Macedonian portokal [????????], and Romanian portocala. Also in South Italian dialects (Neapolitan), orange is named portogallo or purtualle, literally "the Portuguese one". Related names can also be found in other languages: Turkish Portakal, Arabic al-burtuqal [????????], Amharic birtukan, and Georgian phortokhali.
Portuguese, Spanish, Arab, and Dutch sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy. On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the seeds of oranges, lemons and citrons to Haiti and the Caribbean. They were introduced in Florida (along with lemons) in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, and were introduced to Hawaii in 1792.
Valencia orange Main article: Valencia orange The Valencia or Murcia orange is one of the sweet oranges used for juice extraction. It is a late-season fruit, and therefore a popular variety when the navel oranges are out of season. For this reason, the orange was chosen to be the official mascot of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Spain. The mascot was called "Naranjito" ("little orange"), and wore the colours of the Spanish football team uniform.
Orange, raw, Florida
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 192 kJ (46 kcal)
Carbohydrates 11.54 g
Sugars 9.14 g
Dietary fiber 2.4 g
Fat 0.21 g
Protein 0.70 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.100 mg (8%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.040 mg (3%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.400 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.250 mg (5%)
Vitamin B6 0.051 mg (4%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 17 µg (4%)
Vitamin C 45 mg (75%)
Calcium 43 mg (4%)
Iron 0.09 mg (1%)
Magnesium 10 mg (3%
Phosphorus 12 mg (2%)
Potassium 169 mg (4%)
Zinc 0.08 mg (1%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Acidity Like all citrus fruits, the orange is acidic, with a pH level of around 2.5-3; depending on the age, size and variety of the fruit. Although this is not, on average, as strong as the lemon, it is still quite acidic on the pH scale – as acidic as household vinegar.
The pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis) is a citrus fruit native to South East Asia. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick pudgy rind. It is the largest citrus fruit, 15–25 cm in diameter, and usually weighing 1–2 kg. Other spellings for pomelo include pummelo, and pommelo, and other names include Chinese grapefruit, jabong, lusho fruit, pompelmous, Papanas, and shaddock. Pomelos are also referred to as chakotara in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. In the Indian State Manipur this fruit is known as Nobab.
The pomelo tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit, though the typical pomelo is much larger in size than the grapefruit. It has very little, or none, of the common grapefruit's bitterness, but the enveloping membranous material around the segments is bitter, considered inedible, and thus usually discarded. The peel is sometimes used to make marmalade, or candied, then (sometimes) dipped in chocolate. The peel of the pomelo is also used in Chinese cooking. In general, citrus peel is often used in southern Chinese cuisine for flavouring, especially in sweet soup desserts.
The Chandler is a Californian variety of pomelo, with a smoother skin than many other varieties. An individual Chandler fruit can reach the weight of one kilogram.
In Vietnam, two particularly well known varieties are cultivated; one called bu?i Nam Roi in the Trà Ôn district of Vinh Long Province of the Mekong Delta region, and one called bu?i da xanh in Ben Tre Province.
In the Philippines, the fruit is known as the suhâ, or lukban, and is eaten as a dessert or snack. The pomelo, cut into wedges, is dipped in salt before it is eaten. Pomelo juices and pomelo-flavored juice drink mixes are also common.
In Thailand, the fruit is called som-oh (?????), and is eaten raw, usually dipped into a salt, sugar and chili pepper mixture. In Malaysia, Tambun town near Ipoh, Perak is famous for pomelos. There are two varieties: a sweet kind, which has white flesh, and a sour kind, which has pinkish flesh and is more likely to be used as an altar decoration than actually eaten. Pomelos are a must during the mid-autumn festival or mooncake festival; they are normally eaten fresh.
The tangelo is a hybrid between the pomelo and the tangerine. It has a thicker skin than a tangerine and is less sweet. It has been suggested that the orange is also a hybrid of the two fruits.
In Manipur, nobab is used as a major source of vitamin C. This fruit holds a high place in the culture and tradition of Manipur. Many religious rituals seem incomplete without this fruit.
The tangerine (Citrus × tangerina) is an orange-coloured citrus fruit. It is a variety of the Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata). Tangerines are smaller than most oranges, and the skin of some varieties will peel off more easily. The taste is often less sour, or tart, than that of an orange.
Good tangerines will be firm to slightly soft, heavy for their size, and pebbly-skinned with no deep grooves, as well as orange in color. Peak tangerine season is short, lasting from November to January in the Northern Hemisphere. Tangerines are most commonly peeled and eaten out of hand. The fresh fruit is also used in salads, desserts and main dishes. Fresh tangerine juice and frozen juice concentrate are commonly available in the United States. The number of seeds in each segment (carpel) varies greatly.
A popular alternative to tangerines are clementines, which are also a variant of the mandarin orange. Tangerines have been cultivated for over 3,000 years in China, Japan, and Djibouti. They were also high in concentration in present day Burma. They did not reach Europe and North America, however, until the nineteenth century. The name tangerine comes from Tangier, Morocco, a port from which the first tangerines were shipped to Europe. Tangerines have been found in many shapes and sizes, from that as small as a small walnut, to larger than an average orange.
Varieties The Honey tangerine, originally called a murcott, is very sweet, as its name suggests. Other popular kinds include the sunburst tangerines and Fairchild tangerines.
One of the oldest and most popular varieties is the Dancy tangerine, but it is no longer widely grown. The Dancy was known as the zipper-skin tangerine, and also as the kid-glove orange, for its loose, pliable peel.
Tangerines, (mandarin oranges) (raw)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 223 kJ (53 kcal)
Carbohydrates 13.34 g
Sugars 10.58 g
Dietary fiber 1.8 g
Fat 0.31 g
Protein 0.81 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.058 mg (4%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.036 mg (2%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.376 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.216 mg (4%)
Vitamin B6 0.078 mg (6%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 16 µg (4%)
Vitamin C 26.7 mg (45%)
Calcium 37 mg (4%)
Iron 0.15 mg (1%)
Magnesium 12 mg (3%
Phosphorus 20 mg (3%)
Potassium 166 mg (4%)
Sodium 2 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.07 mg (1%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Tangerines are a good source of vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene. They also contain some potassium, magnesium and vitamins B1, B2 & B3. Tangerine oil, like all citrus oils, has limonene as its major constituent, but also alpha-pinene, myrcene, gamma-terpinene, citronellal, linalool, neral, neryl acetate, geranyl acetate, geraniol, thymol, and carvone.
The Mandarin orange, also known as mandarin or mandarine, is a small citrus tree (Citrus reticulata) with fruit resembling other oranges. The fruit is oblate, rather than spherical. Mandarin oranges are usually eaten plain, or in fruit salads. Specifically reddish orange mandarin cultivars can be marketed as tangerines, but this is not a botanical classification.
The tree is more drought-tolerant than the fruit. The mandarin is tender, and is damaged easily by cold. It can be grown in tropical and subtropical areas.
Fruit The Mandarin orange is but one variety of the orange family. The mandarin has many names, some of which actually refer to crosses between the mandarin and another citrus fruit.
Mikan, the source of most canned mandarines, of which there are over 200 cultivars Owari, a well-known mikan cultivar which ripens during the late fall season
Clementine, becoming the most important commercial mandarin variety, have displaced mikans in many markets Tangerine, sometimes known as a 'Christmas Orange', as its peak season is December and children would often receive one in their Christmas stockings.
Satsuma, a seedless variety growing in popularity in the U.S. for its ease of consumption Tangor, also called the temple orange, a cross between the mandarin and the common orange; its thick rind is easy to peel and its bright orange pulp is sweet, full-flavored, and tart
The mandarin is easily peeled with the fingers, starting at the thick rind covering the depression at the top of the fruit, and can be easily split into even segments without squirting juice. This makes it convenient to eat, as utensils are not required to peel or cut the fruit.
Canned mandarin segments are peeled to remove the white pith prior to canning; otherwise, they turn bitter. Segments are peeled using a chemical process. First, the segments are scalded in hot water to loosen the skin; then they are bathed in a lye solution which digests the albedo and membranes. Finally, the segments undergo several rinses in plain water.
Biological characteristics Citrus fruits varieties are usually self-fertile(needing a bee only to move pollen within the same flower) or parthenocarpic (not needing pollination and therefore seedless, such as Satsuma).
Blossoms from the Dancy cultivar are one exception. They are self sterile, and therefore must have a pollenizer variety to supply pollen, and a high bee population to make a good crop.
Medicinal uses The dried peel of the fruit of C. reticulata is used in the regulation of ch'i in Traditional Chinese medicine The peel is also used to treat abdominal distention, enhance digestion, and to reduce phlegm.
Tangerines, Mandarins, Clementines
Top Ten Producers — 2007 (1000 tonnes)
South Korea 778
World Total 27,865
UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), The "Clemenules" (or "Nules", the Valencian town where it was bred) accounts for the great majority of clementines produced in the world. Spain alone has over 200,000 acres (800 km²), producing fruit between November and January. Mandarins marketed as tangerines are usually Dancy, Sunburst or Murcott (Honey) cultivars.
Selenium (pronounced /s?'li?ni?m/ s?-LEE-nee-?m) is a chemical element with the atomic number 34, represented by the chemical symbol Se, an atomic mass of 78.96. It is a nonmetal, chemically related to sulfur and tellurium, and rarely occurs in its elemental state in nature.
Isolated selenium occurs in several different forms, the most stable of which is a dense purplish-gray semi-metal (semiconductor) form that is structurally a trigonal polymer chain. It conducts electricity better in the light than in the dark, and is used in photocells (see allotropes section below). Selenium also exists in many non-conductive forms: a black glass-like allotrope, as well as several red crystalline forms built of eight-membered ring molecules, like its lighter cousin sulfur.
Selenium is found in economic quantities in sulfide ores such as pyrite, partially replacing the sulfur in the ore matrix. Minerals that are selenide or selenate compounds are also known, but all are rare. The chief commercial present uses for selenium are in glassmaking and in chemicals and pigments. Electronic uses for selenium, once important, have been supplanted by silicon semiconductor devices.
Selenium salts are toxic in large amounts, but trace amounts of the element are necessary for cellular function in most, if not all, animals, forming the active center of the enzymes glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase (which indirectly reduce certain oxidized molecules in animals and some plants) and three known deiodinase enzymes (which convert one thyroid hormone to another). Selenium requirements in plants differ by species, with some plants apparently requiring none.
Selenium (Greek se???? selene meaning "Moon") was discovered in 1817 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius who found the element associated with tellurium (named for the Earth). It was discovered as a byproduct of sulfuric acid production.
It came to medical notice later because of its toxicity to humans working in industry. It was also recognized as an important veterinary toxin. In 1954 the first hints towards specific biological functions of selenium were discovered in microorganisms. Its essentiality for mammalian life was discovered in 1957. In the 1970s it was shown to be present in two independent sets of enzymes. This was followed by the discovery of selenocysteine in proteins. During the 1980s it was shown that selenocystine was encoded by the codon TGA. The recoding mechanism was worked out first in bacteria and then in mammals.
Growth in selenium consumption was historically driven by steady development of new uses, including applications in rubber compounding, steel alloying, and selenium rectifiers. Selenium is also an essential material in the drums of laser printers and copiers. By 1970, selenium in rectifiers had largely been replaced by silicon, but its use as a photoconductor in plain-paper copiers had become its leading application. During the 1980s, the photoconductor application declined (although it was still a large end-use) as more and more copiers using organic photoconductors were produced. Currently, the largest use of selenium worldwide is in glass manufacturing, followed by uses in chemicals and pigments. Electronics use, despite a number of continued applications, continues to decline.
In the late 1990s, the use of selenium (usually with bismuth) as an additive to plumbing brasses to meet no-lead environmental standards became important. At present, total world selenium production continues to increase modestly.
Occurrence Native selenium Selenium occurs naturally in a number of inorganic forms, including selenide, selenate, and selenite. In soils, selenium most often occurs in soluble forms such as selenate (analogous to sulfate), which are leached into rivers very easily by runoff.
Selenium has a biological role, and it is found in organic compounds such as dimethyl selenide, selenomethionine, selenocysteine and methylselenocysteine. In these compounds selenium plays a role analogous to that of sulfur.
Selenium is most commonly produced from selenide in many sulfide ores, such as those of copper, silver, or lead. It is obtained as a byproduct of the processing of these ores, from the anode mud of copper refineries and the mud from the lead chambers of sulfuric acid plants. These muds can be processed by a number of means to obtain free selenium.
Natural sources of selenium include certain selenium-rich soils, and selenium that has been bioconcentrated by certain plants. Anthropogenic sources of selenium include coal burning and the mining and smelting of sulfide ores.
See also Selenide minerals. Production and allotropic forms Structure of trigonal selenium Native selenium is a rare mineral, which does not usually form good crystals, but when it does they are steep rhombohedrons or tiny acicular (hair-like) crystals. Isolation of selenium is often complicated by the presence of other compounds and elements.
Most elemental selenium comes as a byproduct of refining copper or producing sulfuric acid. Industrial production of selenium often involves the extraction of selenium dioxide from residues obtained during the purification of copper. Commonly, production begins by oxidation with sodium carbonate to produce selenium dioxide. The selenium dioxide is then mixed with water and the solution is acidified to form selenous acid (oxidation step). Selenous acid is bubbled with sulfur dioxide (reduction step) to give elemental selenium.
Elemental selenium produced in chemical reactions invariably appears as the amorphous red form: an insoluble, brick-red powder. When this form is rapidly melted, it forms the black, vitreous form, which is usually sold industrially as beads. The most thermodynamically stable and dense form of selenium is the electrically conductive gray (trigonal) form, which is composed of long helical chains of selenium atoms (see figure). The conductivity of this form is notably light sensitive. Selenium also exists in three different deep-red crystalline monoclinic forms, which are composed of Se8 molecules, similar to many allotropes of sulfur.
Isotopes Main article: isotopes of selenium Selenium has six naturally occurring isotopes, five of which are stable: 74Se, 76Se, 77Se, 78Se, and 80Se. The last three also occur as fission products, along with 79Se which has a half-life of 295,000 years. The final naturally occurring isotope, 82Se, has a very long half-life (~1020 yr, decaying via double beta decay to 82Kr), which, for practical purposes, can be considered to be stable. Twenty-three other unstable isotopes have been characterized.
See also Selenium-79 for more information on recent changes in the half-life of this long-lived fission product, important for the dose calculations performed in the frame of the geological disposal of long-lived radioactive waste.
Health effects and nutrition Although it is toxic in large doses, selenium is an essential micronutrient for animals. In plants, it occurs as a bystander mineral, sometimes in toxic proportions in forage (some plants may accumulate selenium as a defense against being eaten by animals, but other plants such as locoweed require selenium, and their growth indicates the presence of selenium in soil). It is a component of the unusual amino acids selenocysteine and selenomethionine. In humans, selenium is a trace element nutrient which functions as cofactor for reduction of antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidases and certain forms of thioredoxin reductase found in animals and some plants (this enzyme occurs in all living organisms, but not all forms of it in plants require selenium).
Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) catalyzes certain reactions that remove reactive oxygen species such as peroxide: 2 GSH + H2O2---------GSH-Px ? GSSG + 2 H2O
Selenium also plays a role in the functioning of the thyroid gland by participating as a cofactor for the three known thyroid hormone deiodinases.
Dietary selenium comes from nuts, cereals, meat, fish, and eggs. Brazil nuts are the richest ordinary dietary source (though this is soil-dependent, since the Brazil nut does not require high levels of the element for its own needs). In descending order of concentration, high levels are also found in kidney, tuna, crab, and lobster.
Selenium indicator plants Certain species of plants are considered indicators of high selenium content of the soil, since they require high levels of selenium in order to thrive. The main selenium indicator plants are Astragalus species (including some locoweeds), prince's plume (Stanleya sp.), woody asters (Xylorhiza sp.), and false goldenweed (Oonopsis sp.)
Toxicity Although selenium is an essential trace element, it is toxic if taken in excess. Exceeding the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of 400 micrograms per day can lead to selenosis. This 400 microgram Tolerable Upper Intake Level is primarily based on a 1986 study of five Chinese patients who exhibited overt signs of selenosis and a follow up study on the same five people in 1992. The 1992 study actually found the maximum safe dietary Se intake to be approximately 800 micrograms per day (15 micrograms per kilogram body weight), but suggested 400 micrograms per day to not only avoid toxicity, but also to avoid creating an imbalance of nutrients in the diet and to account for data from other countries. The Chinese people that suffered from selenium toxicity ingested selenium by eating corn grown in extremely selenium-rich stony coal (carbonaceous shale). This coal was shown to have selenium content as high as 9.1%, the highest concentration in coal ever recorded in literature. A dose of selenium as small as 5 mg per day can be lethal for many humans. Reference ranges for blood tests, showing selenium in purple in center Symptoms of selenosis include a garlic odor on the breath, gastrointestinal disorders, hair loss, sloughing of nails, fatigue, irritability, and neurological damage. Extreme cases of selenosis can result in cirrhosis of the liver, pulmonary edema, and death. Elemental selenium and most metallic selenides have relatively low toxicities because of their low bioavailability. By contrast, selenates and selenites are very toxic, having an oxidant mode of action similar to that of arsenic trioxide. The chronic toxic dose of selenite for human beings is about 2400 to 3000 micrograms of selenium per day for a long time. Hydrogen selenide is an extremely toxic, corrosive gas. Selenium also occurs in organic compounds such as dimethyl selenide, selenomethionine, selenocysteine and methylselenocysteine, all of which have high bioavailability and are toxic in large doses. Nano-size selenium has equal efficacy, but much lower toxicity. On April 19, 2009, twenty-one polo ponies began to die shortly before a match in the United States Polo Open. Three days later, a pharmacy released a statement explaining that the horses had received an incorrect dose of one of the ingredients used in a vitamin compound with which the horses had been injected. Such vitamin injections are common to promote recovery after a match. The pharmacy did not initially release the name of the specific ingredient due to ongoing law-enforcement and other investigations. Analysis of inorganic compounds of the vitamin supplement indicated that selenium concentrations were ten to fifteen times higher than normal in the horses' blood samples and 15 to 20 times higher than normal in their liver samples. It was later confirmed that selenium was the ingredient in question.
Selenium poisoning of water systems may result whenever new agricultural runoff courses through normally dry undeveloped lands. This process leaches natural soluble selenium compounds (such as selenates) into the water, which may then be concentrated in new "wetlands" as the water evaporates. High selenium levels produced in this fashion have been found to have caused certain congenital disorders in wetland birds.
Deficiency Main article: selenium deficiency Selenium deficiency is relatively rare in healthy, well-nourished individuals. It can occur in patients with severely compromised intestinal function, those undergoing total parenteral nutrition, and also on advanced-aged people (over 90). Also, people dependent on food grown from selenium-deficient soil are also at risk. However, although New Zealand has low levels of selenium in its soil, adverse health effects have not been detected.
Controversial health effects Cancer Several studies have suggested a possible link between cancer and selenium deficiency, One study, known as the NPC, was conducted to test the effect of selenium supplementation on the recurrence of skin cancers on selenium-deficient men. It did not demonstrate a reduced rate of recurrence of skin cancers, but did show a reduced occurrence of total cancers, although without a statistically significant change in overall mortality. The preventative effect observed in the NPC was greatest in those with the lowest baseline selenium levels. In 2009 the 5.5 year SELECT study reported that selenium and vitamin E supplementation, both alone and together, did not significantly reduce the incidence of prostate cancer in 35,000 men who "generally were replete in selenium at baseline". The SELECT trial found that vitamin E did not reduce prostate cancer as it had in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene (ATBC) study, but the ATBC had a large percentage of smokers while the SELECT trial did not. . There was a slight trend toward more prostate cancer in the SELECT trial, but in the vitamin E only arm of the trial, where no selenium was given.
Dietary selenium prevents chemically induced carcinogenesis in many rodent studies. It has been proposed that selenium may help prevent cancer by acting as an antioxidant or by enhancing immune activity. Not all studies agree on the cancer-fighting effects of selenium. One study of naturally occurring levels of selenium in over 60,000 participants did not show a significant correlation between those levels and cancer. The SU.VI.MAX study concluded that low-dose supplementation (with 120 mg of ascorbic acid, 30 mg of vitamin E, 6 mg of beta carotene, 100 µg of selenium, and 20 mg of zinc) resulted in a 30% reduction in the incidence of cancer and a 37% reduction in all-cause mortality in males, but did not get a significant result for females. However, there is evidence that selenium can help chemotherapy treatment by enhancing the efficacy of the treatment, reducing the toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs, and preventing the body's resistance to the drugs. Studies of cancer cells in vitro showed that chemotherapeutic drugs, such as Taxol and Adriamycin, were more toxic to strains of cancer cells grown in culture when selenium was added. In March 2009, Vitamin E (400 IU) and selenium (200 micrograms) supplements were reported to affect gene expression and can act as a tumor suppressor. Eric Klein, MD from the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute in Ohio said the new study “lend credence to the previous evidence that selenium and vitamin E might be active as cancer preventatives”. In an attempt to rationalise the differences between epidemiological and in vitro studies and randomised trials like SELECT, Klein said that randomized controlled trials “do not always validate what we believe biology indicates and that our model systems are imperfect measures of clinical outcomes in the real world”.
HIV/AIDS Some research has indicated a geographical link between regions of selenium-deficient soils and peak incidences of HIV/AIDS infection. For example, much of sub-Saharan Africa is low in selenium. However, Senegal is not, and also has a significantly lower level of AIDS infection than the rest of the continent. AIDS appears to involve a slow and progressive decline in levels of selenium in the body. Whether this decline in selenium levels is a direct result of the replication of HIV or related more generally to the overall malabsorption of nutrients by AIDS patients remains debated.
Low selenium levels in AIDS patients have been directly correlated with decreased immune cell count and increased disease progression and risk of death. Selenium normally acts as an antioxidant, so low levels of it may increase oxidative stress on the immune system leading to more rapid decline of the immune system. Others have argued that T-cell associated genes encode selenoproteins similar to human glutathione peroxidase. Depleted selenium levels in turn lead to a decline in CD4 helper T-cells, further weakening the immune system.
Regardless of the cause of depleted selenium levels in AIDS patients, studies have shown that selenium deficiency does strongly correlate with the progression of the disease and the risk of death.
Tuberculosis Some research has suggested that selenium supplementation, along with other nutrients, can help prevent the recurrence of tuberculosis.
Diabetes A well-controlled study showed that selenium intake is positively correlated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Because high serum selenium levels are positively associated with the prevalence of diabetes, and because selenium deficiency is rare, supplementation is not recommended in well-nourished populations such as the U.S.
Mercury Experimental findings have demonstrated a protective effect of selenium on methylmercury toxicity, but epidemiological studies have been inconclusive in linking selenium to protection against the adverse effects of methylmercury.
Non-biologic applications Chemistry Selenium is a catalyst in many chemical reactions and is widely used in various industrial and laboratory syntheses, especially Organoselenium chemistry. It is also widely used in structure determination of proteins and nucleic acids by X-ray crystallography (incorporation of one or more Se atoms helps with MAD and SAD phasing.)
Manufacturing and materials use The largest use of selenium worldwide is in glass and ceramic manufacturing, where it is used to give a red color to glasses, enamels and glazes as well as to remove color from glass by counteracting the green tint imparted by ferrous impurities.
Selenium is used with bismuth in brasses to replace more toxic lead. It is also used to improve abrasion resistance in vulcanized rubbers. Electronics Because of its photovoltaic and photoconductive properties, selenium is used in photocopying, photocells, light meters and solar cells. It was once widely used in rectifiers. These uses have mostly been replaced by silicon-based devices, or are in the process of being replaced. The most notable exception is in power DC surge protection, where the superior energy capabilities of selenium suppressors make them more desirable than metal oxide varistors.
Sheets of amorphous selenium convert x-ray images to patterns of charge in xeroradiography and in solid-state, flat-panel x-ray cameras. Photography Selenium is used in the toning of photographic prints, and it is sold as a toner by numerous photographic manufacturers including Kodak and Fotospeed. Its use intensifies and extends the tonal range of black and white photographic images as well as improving the permanence of prints.
Early photographic light meters used selenium but this application is now obsolete. Biologic applications Medical use The substance loosely called selenium sulfide (approximate formula SeS2) is the active ingredient in some dandruff shampoos. The selenium compound kill the scalp fungus Malassezia, which causes shedding of dry skin fragments. The ingredient is also used in body lotions to treat Tinea versicolor due to infection by a different species of Malassezia fungus.
Nutrition Selenium is used widely in vitamin preparations and other dietary supplements, in small doses (typically 50 to 200 micrograms per day for adult humans). Some livestock feeds are fortified with selenium as well.
Evolution in biology Main article: Evolution of dietary antioxidants Over three billion years ago, blue-green algae were the most primitive oxygenic photosynthetic organisms and are ancestors of multicellular eukaryotic algae. Algae that contain the highest amount of antioxidant selenium, iodide, and peroxidase enzymes were the first living cells to produce poisonous oxygen in the atmosphere. Venturi et al. suggested that algal cells required a protective antioxidant action, in which selenium and iodides, through peroxidase enzymes, have had this specific role. Selenium, which acts synergistically with iodine, is a primitive mineral antioxidant, greatly present in the sea and prokaryotic cells, where it is an essential component of the family of glutathione peroxidase antioxidant enzymes (GSH-Px). In fact, seaweeds accumulate high quantity of selenium and iodine. In 2008, Küpper et al., showed that iodide also scavenges reactive oxygen species (ROS) in algae, and that its biological role is that of an inorganic antioxidant, the first to be described in a living system, active also in an in vitro assay with the blood cells of today’s humans."
From about three billion years ago, prokaryotic selenoprotein families drive selenocysteine evolution. Selenium is incorporated into several prokaryotic selenoprotein families in bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes as selenocysteine, where selenoprotein peroxiredoxins protect bacterial and eukaryotic cells against oxidative damage. Selenoprotein families of GSH-Px and deiodinase of eukaryotic cells seem to have a bacterial phylogenetic origin. The selenocysteine-containing form occurred in green algae, diatoms, sea urchin, fish and chicken, too. One family of selenium-containing molecules as glutathione peroxidases repairs damaged cell membranes, while another (glutathione S-transferases) repairs damaged DNA and prevents mutations.
When about 500 Mya, plants and animals began to transfer from the sea to rivers and land, the environmental deficiency of marine mineral antioxidants (as selenium, iodine, etc.) was a challenge to the evolution of terrestrial life. Trace elements involved in GSH-Px and superoxide dismutase enzymes activities, i.e. selenium, vanadium, magnesium, copper, and zinc, may have been lacking in some terrestrial mineral-deficient areas. Marine organisms retained and sometimes expanded their seleno-proteomes, whereas the seleno-proteomes of some terrestrial organisms were reduced or completely lost. These findings suggest that, with the exception of vertebrates, aquatic life supports selenium utilization, whereas terrestrial habitats lead to reduced use of this trace element. Marine fishes and vertebrate thyroid glands have the highest concentration of selenium and iodine. From about 500 Mya, freshwater and terrestrial plants slowly optimized the production of “new” endogenous antioxidants such as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), polyphenols, flavonoids, tocopherols, etc. A few of these appeared more recently, in the last 50-200 million years, in fruits and flowers of angiosperm plants. In fact, the angiosperms (the dominant type of plant today) and most of their antioxidant pigments evolved during the late Jurassic period.
The deiodinase isoenzymes constituted the second family of eukaryotic selenoproteins with identified enzyme function. Deiodinases are able to extract electrons from iodides, and iodides from iodothyronines; so, they are involved in thyroid-hormone regulation, participating in the protection of thyrocytes from damage by H2O2 produced for thyroid-hormone biosynthesis. About 200 Mya, new selenoproteins were developed as mammalian GSH-Px enzymes. 
Copper indium gallium selenide Cu(Ga,In)Se2
Dimethyl selenide (CH3SeCH3)
Dimethyl diselenide (CH3SeSeCH3)
Dimethyl selenenyl sulfide (CH3SeSCH3)
Dimethyl selenenyl disulfide (CH3SeS2CH3)
Dimethyl diselenenyl sulfide (CH3Se2SCH3)
Mercury selenide (HgSe)
Hydrogen selenide (H2Se)
Lead selenide (PbSe)
Selenium dioxide (SeO2)
Selenic acid (H2SeO4)
Selenous acid (H2SeO3)
Selenium sulfides: Se4S4, SeS2, Se2S6
Sodium selenite (Na2SeO3)
Zinc selenide (ZnSe)
Selenium occurs in the 0,+2,+4,+6 and -2 valence states. See also Selenium compounds and organoselenium chemistry. Zinc (pronounced /'z??k/ zingk, from German: Zink), also known as spelter, is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2. Zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth's crust and has five stable isotopes. The most exploited zinc ore is sphalerite, a zinc sulfide. The largest exploitable deposits are found in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Zinc production includes froth flotation of the ore, roasting, and final extraction using electricity (electrowinning).
Brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, has been used since at least the 10th century BC. Impure zinc metal was not produced in large scale until the 13th century in India, while the metal was unknown to Europe until the end of the 16th century. Alchemists burned zinc in air to form what they called "philosopher's wool" or "white snow". The element was probably named by the alchemist Paracelsus after the German word Zinke. German chemist Andreas Sigismund Marggraf is normally given credit for discovering pure metallic zinc in 1746. Work by Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta uncovered the electrochemical properties of zinc by 1800. Corrosion-resistant zinc plating of steel (hot-dip galvanizing) is the major application for zinc. Other applications are in batteries and alloys, such as brass. A variety of zinc compounds are commonly used, such as zinc carbonate and zinc gluconate (as dietary supplements), zinc chloride (in deodorants), zinc pyrithione (anti-dandruff shampoos), zinc sulfide (in luminescent paints), and zinc methyl or zinc diethyl in the organic laboratory. Zinc is an essential mineral of "exceptional biologic and public health importance". Zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is associated with many diseases. In children it causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility, and diarrhea, contributing to the death of about 800,000 children worldwide per year. Enzymes with a zinc atom in the reactive center are widespread in biochemistry, such as alcohol dehydrogenase in humans. Consumption of excess zinc can cause ataxia, lethargy and copper deficiency.
Physical Zinc, also referred to in nonscientific contexts as spelter, is a bluish-white, lustrous, diamagnetic metal, though most common commercial grades of the metal have a dull finish. It is somewhat less dense than iron and has a hexagonal crystal structure.
The metal is hard and brittle at most temperatures but becomes malleable between 100 and 150 °C. Above 210 °C, the metal becomes brittle again and can be pulverized by beating. Zinc is a fair conductor of electricity. For a metal, zinc has relatively low melting (420 °C) and boiling points (900 °C). Its melting point is the lowest of all the transition metals aside from mercury and cadmium.
Many alloys contain zinc, including brass, an alloy of zinc and copper. Other metals long known to form binary alloys with zinc are aluminium, antimony, bismuth, gold, iron, lead, mercury, silver, tin, magnesium, cobalt, nickel, tellurium and sodium. While neither zinc nor zirconium are ferromagnetic, their alloy ZrZn2 exhibits ferromagnetism below 35 K.
Occurrence See also: Zinc minerals Zinc makes up about 75 ppm (0.007%) of the Earth's crust, making it the 24th most abundant element there. Soil contains 5–770 ppm of zinc with an average of 64 ppm. Seawater has only 30 ppb zinc and the atmosphere contains 0.1–4 µg/m3.
Sphalerite (ZnS) The element is normally found in association with other base metals such as copper and lead in ores. Zinc is a chalcophile ("sulfur loving"), meaning the element has a low affinity for oxygen and prefers to bond with sulfur in highly insoluble sulfides. Chalcophiles formed as the crust solidified under the reducing conditions of the early Earth's atmosphere. Sphalerite, which is a form of zinc sulfide, is the most heavily mined zinc-containing ore because its concentrate contains 60–62% zinc.
Other minerals, from which zinc is extracted, include smithsonite (zinc carbonate), hemimorphite (zinc silicate), wurtzite (another zinc sulfide), and sometimes hydrozincite (basic zinc carbonate). With the exception of wurtzite, all these other minerals were formed as a result of weathering processes on the primordial zinc sulfides.
World zinc resources total about 1.8 gigatonnes. Nearly 200 megatonnes were economically viable in 2008; adding marginally economic and subeconomic reserves to that number, a total reserve base of 500 megatonnes has been identified. Large deposits are in Australia, Canada and the United States. At the current rate of consumption, these reserves are estimated to be depleted sometime between 2027 and 2055. About 346 megatonnes have been extracted throughout history to 2002, and one estimate found that about 109 megatonnes of that remains in use.
Isotopes Main article: Isotopes of zinc Five isotopes of zinc occur in nature. 64Zn is the most abundant isotope (48.63% natural abundance). This isotope has such a long half-life, at 4.3×1018 a, that its radioactivity can be ignored. Similarly, 70Zn (0.6%), with a half life of 1.3×1016 a is not usually considered to be radioactive. The other isotopes found in nature are 66Zn (28%), 67Zn (4%) and 68Zn (19%).
Several dozen radioisotopes have been characterized. 65Zn, which has a half-life of 243.66 days, is the most long-lived isotope, followed by 72Zn with a half-life of 46.5 hours. Zinc has 10 nuclear isomers. 69mZn has the longest half-life, 13.76 h. The superscript m indicates a metastable isotope. The nucleus of a metastable isotope is in an excited state and will return to the ground state by emitting a photon in the form of a gamma ray. 61Zn has three excited states and 73Zn has two. The isotopes 65Zn, 71Zn, 77Zn and 78Zn each have only one excited state.
The most common decay mode of an isotope of zinc with a mass number lower than 64 is electron capture. The decay product resulting from electron capture is an isotope of copper.
Zn + e- ?
The most common decay mode of an isotope of zinc with mass number higher than 64 is beta decay (ß–), which produces an isotope of gallium.
Ga + e- + ?e
Compounds and chemistry Main article: Compounds of zinc Reactivity Zinc has an electron configuration of [Ar]3d104s2 and is a member of the group 12 of the periodic table. It is a moderately reactive metal and strong reducing agent. The surface of the pure metal tarnishes quickly, eventually forming a protective passivating layer of the basic zinc carbonate, Zn5(OH)6CO3, by reaction with atmospheric carbon dioxide. This layer helps prevent further reaction with air and water.
Zinc burns in air with a bright bluish-green flame, giving off fumes of zinc oxide. Zinc reacts readily with acids, alkalis and other non-metals. Extremely pure zinc reacts only slowly at room temperature with acids. Strong acids, such as hydrochloric or sulfuric acid, can remove the passivating layer and subsequent reaction with water releases hydrogen gas.
The chemistry of zinc is dominated by the +2 oxidation state. When compounds in this oxidation state are formed the outer shell s electrons are lost, which yields a bare zinc ion with the electronic configuration [Ar]3d10. This allows for the formation of four covalent bonds by accepting four electron pairs and thus obeying the octet rule. The stereochemistry is therefore tetrahedral and the bonds may be described as being formed from sp3 hybrid orbitals on the zinc ion. In aqueous solution an octahedral complex, [Zn(H2O)6]2+ is the predominant species. The volatilization of zinc in combination with zinc chloride at temperatures above 285 °C indicates the formation of Zn2Cl2, a zinc compound with a +1 oxidation state. No compounds of zinc in oxidation states other than +1 or +2 are known. Calculations indicate that a zinc compound with the oxidation state of +4 is unlikely to exist.
Zinc chemistry is similar to the chemistry of the late first-row transition metals, nickel and copper though it has a filled d-shell, so its compounds are diamagnetic and mostly colorless. The ionic radii of zinc and magnesium happen to be nearly identical. Because of this some of their salts have the same crystal structure and in circumstances where ionic radius is a determining factor zinc and magnesium chemistries have much in common. Otherwise there is little similarity. Zinc tends to form bonds with a greater degree of covalency and it forms much more stable complexes with N- and S- donors. Complexes of zinc are mostly 4- or 6- coordinate although 5-coordinate complexes are known.
See also Clemmensen reduction. Compounds Zinc chloride Binary compounds of zinc are known for most of the metalloids and all the nonmetals except the noble gases. The oxide ZnO is a white powder that is nearly insoluble in neutral aqueous solutions, but is amphoteric, dissolving in both strong basic and acidic solutions. The other chalcogenides (ZnS, ZnSe, and ZnTe) have varied applications in electronics and optics. Pnictogenides (Zn3N2, Zn3P2, Zn3As2 and Zn3Sb2), the peroxide (ZnO2), the hydride (ZnH2), and the carbide (ZnC2) are also known. Of the four halides, ZnF2 has the most ionic character, whereas the others (ZnCl2, ZnBr2, and ZnI2) have relatively low melting points and are considered to have more covalent character.
Basic zinc acetate In weak basic solutions containing Zn2+ ions, the hydroxide Zn(OH)2 forms as a white precipitate. In stronger alkaline solutions, this hydroxide is dissolved to form zincates ([Zn(OH)4]2-). The nitrate Zn(NO3)2, chlorate Zn(ClO3)2, sulfate ZnSO4, phosphate Zn3(PO4)2, molybdate ZnMoO4, cyanide Zn(CN)2, arsenite Zn(AsO2)2, arsenate Zn(AsO4)2•8H2O and the chromate ZnCrO4 (one of the few colored zinc compounds) are a few examples of other common inorganic compounds of zinc. One of the simplest examples of an organic compound of zinc is the acetate (Zn(O2CCH3)2).
Organozinc compounds are those that contain zinc–carbon covalent bonds. Diethylzinc ((C2H5)2Zn) is a reagent in synthetic chemistry. It was first reported in 1848 from the reaction of zinc and ethyl iodide, and was the first compound known to contain a metal–carbon sigma bond. Decamethyldizincocene contains a strong zinc–zinc bond at room temperature.
History Ancient use Late Roman brass bucket – the Hemmoorer Eimer from Warstade, Germany second to third century AD Various isolated examples of the use of impure zinc in ancient times have been discovered. A possibly prehistoric statuette containing 87.5% zinc was found in a Dacian archaeological site in Transylvania (modern Romania). Ornaments made of alloys that contain 80–90% zinc with lead, iron, antimony, and other metals making up the remainder, have been found that are 2500 years old. The Berne zinc tablet is a votive plaque dating to Roman Gaul made of an alloy that is mostly zinc. Also, some ancient writings appear to mention zinc. The Greek historian Strabo, in a passage taken from an earlier writer of the 4th century BC, mentions "drops of false silver", which when mixed with copper make brass. This may refer to small quantities of zinc produced as a by-product of smelting sulfide ores. The Charaka Samhita, thought to have been written in 500 BC or before, mentions a metal which, when oxidized, produces pushpanjan, thought to be zinc oxide. Zinc ores were used to make the zinc–copper alloy brass many centuries prior to the discovery of zinc as a separate element. Palestinian brass from the 14th to 10th centuries BC contains 23% zinc. The Book of Genesis, written between the 10th and 5th centuries BC, mentions Tubalcain as an "instructor in every artificer in brass and iron" (Genesis 4:22). Knowledge of how to produce brass spread to Ancient Greece by the 7th century BC but few varieties were made.
The manufacture of brass was known to the Romans by about 30 BC. They made brass by heating powdered calamine (zinc silicate or carbonate), charcoal and copper together in a crucible. The resulting calamine brass was then either cast or hammered into shape and was used in weaponry. Some coins struck by Romans in the Christian era are made of what is probably calamine brass. In the West, impure zinc was known from antiquity to exist in the remnants in melting ovens, but it was usually discarded, as it was thought to be worthless.
Zinc mines at Zawar, near Udaipur in India, have been active since the Mauryan period in the late 1st millennium BC. The smelting of metallic zinc here however appears to have begun around the 12th century AD. One estimate is that this location produced an estimated million tonnes of metallic zinc and zinc oxide from the 12th to 16th centuries. Another estimate gives a total production of 60,000 tons of metallic zinc over this period. The Rasaratna Samuccaya, written in approximately the 14th century AD, mentions two types of zinc-containing ores; one used for metal extraction and another used for medicinal purposes.
Early studies and naming Zinc was distinctly recognized as a metal under the designation of Fasada in the medical Lexicon ascribed to the Hindu king Madanapala and written about the year 1374. Smelting and extraction of impure zinc by reducing calamine with wool and other organic substances was accomplished in the 13th century in India. The Chinese did not learn of the technique until the 17th century.
Various alchemical symbols attributed to the element zinc Alchemists burned zinc metal in air and collected the resulting zinc oxide on a condenser. Some alchemists called this zinc oxide lana philosophica, Latin for "philosopher's wool", because it collected in wooly tufts while others thought it looked like white snow and named it nix album.
The name of the metal was probably first documented by Paracelsus, a Swiss-born German alchemist, who referred to the metal as "zincum" or "zinken" in his book Liber Mineralium II, in the 16th century. The word is probably derived from the German zinke, and supposedly meant "tooth-like, pointed or jagged" (metallic zinc crystals have a needle-like appearance). Zink could also imply "tin-like" because of its relation to German zinn meaning tin. Yet another possibility is that the word is derived from the Persian word ??? seng meaning stone. The metal was also called Indian tin, tutanego, calamine, and spinter.
German metallurgist Andreas Libavius received a quantity of what he called "calay" of Malabar from a cargo ship captured from the Portuguese in 1596. Libavius described the properties of the sample, which may have been zinc. Zinc was regularly imported to Europe from the Orient in the 17th and early 18th centuries, but was at times very expensive.[note 1]
Isolation of the pure element Credit for first isolating pure zinc is usually given to Andreas Sigismund Marggraf. The isolation of metallic zinc in the West may have been achieved independently by several people. Postlewayt's Universal Dictionary, a contemporary source giving technological information in Europe, did not mention zinc before 1751 but the element was studied before then.
Flemish metallurgist P.M. de Respour reported that he extracted metallic zinc from zinc oxide in 1668. By the turn of the century, Étienne François Geoffroy described how zinc oxide condenses as yellow crystals on bars of iron placed above zinc ore being smelted. In Britain, John Lane is said to have carried out experiments to smelt zinc, probably at Landore, prior to his bankruptcy in 1726.
In 1738, William Champion patented in Great Britain a process to extract zinc from calamine in a vertical retort style smelter. His technology was somewhat similar to that used at Zawar zinc mines in Rajasthan but there is no evidence that he visited the Orient. Champion's process was used through 1851.
German chemist Andreas Marggraf normally gets credit for discovering pure metallic zinc even though Swedish chemist Anton von Swab distilled zinc from calamine four years before. In his 1746 experiment, Marggraf heated a mixture of calamine and charcoal in a closed vessel without copper to obtain a metal. This procedure became commercially practical by 1752.
Later work William Champion's brother, John, patented a process in 1758 for calcining zinc sulfide into an oxide usable in the retort process. Prior to this only calamine could be used to produce zinc. In 1798, Johann Christian Ruberg improved on the smelting process by building the first horizontal retort smelter. Jean-Jacques Daniel Dony built a different kind of horizontal zinc smelter in Belgium, which processed even more zinc.
Galvanization was named for Luigi Galvani. Italian doctor Luigi Galvani discovered in 1780 that connecting the spinal cord of a freshly dissected frog to an iron rail attached by a brass hook caused the frog's leg to twitch. He incorrectly thought he had discovered an ability of nerves and muscles to create electricity and called the effect "animal electricity". The galvanic cell and the process of galvanization were both named for Luigi Galvani and these discoveries paved the way for electrical batteries, galvanization and cathodic protection.
Galvani's friend, Alessandro Volta, continued researching this effect and invented the Voltaic pile in 1800. The basic unit of Volta's pile was a simplified galvanic cell, which is made of a plate of copper and a plate of zinc connected to each other externally and separated by an electrolyte. These were stacked in series to make the Voltaic cell, which in turn produced electricity by directing electrons from the zinc to the copper and allowing the zinc to corrode.
The non-magnetic character of zinc and its lack of color in solution delayed discovery of its importance to biochemistry and nutrition. This changed in 1940 when carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme that scrubs carbon dioxide from blood, was shown to have zinc in its active site. The digestive enzyme carboxypeptidase became the second known zinc-containing enzyme in 1955.
Production Mining and processing Main article: Zinc smelting See also: List of countries by zinc production Zinc is the fourth most common metal in use, trailing only iron, aluminium, and copper with an annual production of about 10 megatonnes. The world's largest zinc producer is Nyrstar, a merger of the Australian OZ Minerals and the Belgian Umicore. About 70% of the world's zinc originates from mining, while the remaining 30% comes from recycling secondary zinc. Commercially pure zinc is known as Special High Grade, often abbreviated SHG, and is 99.995% pure.
Percentage of zinc output in 2006 by countries Worldwide, 95% of the zinc is mined from sulfidic ore deposits, in which sphalerite ZnS is nearly always mixed with the sulfides of copper, lead and iron. There are zinc mines throughout the world, with the main mining areas being China, Australia and Peru. China produced over one-fourth of the global zinc output in 2006.
Zinc metal is produced using extractive metallurgy. After grinding the ore, froth flotation, which selectively separates minerals from gangue by taking advantage of differences in their hydrophobicity, is used to get an ore concentrate. A final concentration of zinc of about 50% is reached by this process with the remainder of the concentrate being sulfur (32%), iron (13%), and SiO2 (5%).
Roasting converts the zinc sulfide concentrate produced during processing to zinc oxide: 2 ZnS + 3 O2 ? 2 ZnO + 2 SO2
Top 10 zinc producing countries in 2006 (full list)
Rank Country tonnes
1 China (PRC) 2,600,000
2 Australia 1,338,000
3 Peru 1,201,794
4 United States 727,000
5 Canada 710,000
6 Mexico 480,000
7 Ireland 425,700
8 India 420,800
9 Kazakhstan 400,000
10 Sweden 192,400
The sulfur dioxide is used for the production of sulfuric acid, which is necessary for the leaching process. If deposits of zinc carbonate, zinc silicate or zinc spinel, like the Skorpion Deposit in Namibia are used for zinc production the roasting can be omitted.
For further processing two basic methods are used: pyrometallurgy or electrowinning. Pyrometallurgy processing reduces zinc oxide with carbon or carbon monoxide at 950 °C (1,740 °F) into the metal, which is distilled as zinc vapor. The zinc vapor is collected in a condenser. The below set of equations demonstrate this process:
2 ZnO + C ? 2 Zn + CO2 2 ZnO + 2 CO ? 2 Zn + 2 CO2 Electrowinning processing leaches zinc from the ore concentrate by sulfuric acid: ZnO + H2SO4 ? ZnSO4 + H2O After this step electrolysis is used to produce zinc metal. Environmental impact The production for sulfidic zinc ores produces large amounts of sulfur dioxide and cadmium vapor. Smelter slag and other residues of process also contain significant amounts of heavy metals. About 1.1 megatonnes of metallic zinc and 130 kilotonnes of lead were mined and smelted in the Belgian towns of La Calamine and Plombières between 1806 and 1882. The dumps of the past mining operations leach significant amounts of zinc and cadmium, and, as a result, the sediments of the Geul River contain significant amounts of heavy metals. About two thousand years ago emissions of zinc from mining and smelting totaled 10 kilotonnes a year. After increasing 10-fold from 1850, zinc emissions peaked at 3.4 megatonnes per year in the 1980s and declined to 2.7 megatonnes in the 1990s, although a 2005 study of the Arctic troposphere found that the concentrations there did not reflect the decline. Anthropogenic and natural emissions occur at a ratio of 20 to 1. Levels of zinc in rivers flowing through industrial or mining areas can be as high as 20 ppm. Effective sewage treatment greatly reduces this; treatment along the Rhine, for example, has decreased zinc levels to 50 ppb. Concentrations of zinc as low as 2 ppm adversely affects the amount of oxygen that fish can carry in their blood.
The zinc works at Lutana, is the largest exporter in Tasmania, generating 2.5% of the state's GDP. It produces over 250 kilotonnes of zinc per year. The zinc works were historically responsible for high heavy metal levels in the Derwent River
Soils contaminated with zinc through the mining of zinc-containing ores, refining, or where zinc-containing sludge is used as fertilizer, can contain several grams of zinc per kilogram of dry soil. Levels of zinc in excess of 500 ppm in soil interfere with the ability of plants to absorb other essential metals, such as iron and manganese. Zinc levels of 2000 ppm to 180,000 ppm (18%) have been recorded in some soil samples.
Applications Anti-corrosion and batteries Crystalline surface of a hot-dip galvanized handrail The metal is most commonly used as an anti-corrosion agent. Galvanization, which is the coating of iron or steel to protect the metals against corrosion, is the most familiar form of using zinc in this way. In 2006 in the United States, 56% or 773 kilotonnes of the zinc metal was used for galvanization, while worldwide 47% was used for this purpose.
Zinc is more reactive than iron or steel and thus will attract almost all local oxidation until it completely corrodes away. A protective surface layer of oxide and carbonate (Zn5(OH)6(CO3)2) forms as the zinc corrodes. This protection lasts even after the zinc layer is scratched but degrades through time as the zinc corrodes away. The zinc is applied electrochemically or as molten zinc by hot-dip galvanizing or spraying. Galvanization is used on chain-link fencing, guard rails, suspension bridges, lightposts, metal roofs, heat exchangers, and car bodies.
The relative reactivity of zinc and its ability to attract oxidation to itself also makes it a good sacrificial anode in cathodic protection. Cathodically protecting (CP) buried pipelines requires a solid piece of zinc to be connected by a conductor to a steel pipe. Zinc acts as the anode (negative terminus) by slowly corroding away as it passes electric current to the steel pipeline.[note 2] Zinc is also used to cathodically protect metals that are exposed to sea water from corrosion. A zinc disc attached to a ship's iron rudder will slowly corrode while the rudder stays unattacked. Other similar uses include a plug of zinc attached to a propeller or the metal protective guard for the keel of the ship.
With a standard electrode potential of -0.76 volts, zinc is used as an anode material for batteries. (More reactive lithium (SEP -3.04 V) is used for anodes in lithium batteries ). Powdered zinc is used in this way in alkaline batteries and sheets of zinc metal form the cases for and act as anodes in zinc–carbon batteries.
Alloys A widely used alloy which contains zinc is brass, in which copper is alloyed with anywhere from 3% to 45% zinc, depending upon the type of brass. Brass is generally more ductile and stronger than copper and has superior corrosion resistance. These properties make it useful in communication equipment, hardware, musical instruments, and water valves.
Microstructure of cast brass at magnification 400x Other widely used alloys that contain zinc include nickel silver, typewriter metal, soft and aluminum solder, and commercial bronze. Zinc is also used in contemporary pipe organs as a substitute for the traditional lead/tin alloy in pipes. Alloys of 85–88% zinc, 4–10% copper, and 2–8% aluminium find limited use in certain types of machine bearings. Zinc is the primary metal used in making American one cent coins since 1982. The zinc core is coated with a thin layer of copper to give the impression of a copper coin. In 1994, 33,200 tonnes (36,600 short tons) of zinc were used to produce 13.6 billion pennies in the United States.
Alloys of primarily zinc with small amounts of copper, aluminium, and magnesium are useful in die casting as well as spin casting, especially in the automotive, electrical, and hardware industries. These alloys are marketed under the name Zamak. An example of this is zinc aluminium. The low melting point together with the low viscosity of the alloy makes the production of small and intricate shapes possible. The low working temperature leads to rapid cooling of the cast products and therefore fast assembly is possible.  Another alloy, marketed under the name Prestal, contains 78% zinc and 22% aluminium and is reported to be nearly as strong as steel but as malleable as plastic.  This superplasticity of the alloy allows it to be molded using die casts made of ceramics and cement.
Similar alloys with the addition of a small amount of lead can be cold-rolled into sheets. An alloy of 96% zinc and 4% aluminium is used to make stamping dies for low production run applications for which ferrous metal dies would be too expensive. In building facades, roofs or other applications in which zinc is used as sheet metal and for methods such as deep drawing, roll forming or bending, zinc alloys with titanium and copper are used. Unalloyed zinc is too brittle for these kinds of manufacturing processes.
Cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) is a semiconductive alloy that can be divided into an array of small sensing devices. These devices are similar to an integrated circuit and can detect the energy of incoming gamma ray photons. When placed behind an absorbing mask, the CZT sensor array can also be used to determine the direction of the rays. Zinc is used as the anode or fuel of the zinc-air battery/fuel cell providing the basis of the theorized zinc economy.
Other industrial uses Zinc oxide is used as a white pigment in paints. Roughly one quarter of all zinc output, in the United States (2006), is consumed in the form of zinc compounds; a variety of which are used industrially. Zinc oxide is widely used as a white pigment in paints, and as a catalyst in the manufacture of rubber. It is also used as a heat disperser for the rubber and acts to protect its polymers from ultraviolet radiation (the same UV protection is conferred to plastics containing zinc oxide). The semiconductor properties of zinc oxide make it useful in varistors and photocopying products. The zinc zinc-oxide cycle is a two step thermochemical process based on zinc and zinc oxide for hydrogen production.
Zinc chloride is often added to lumber as a fire retardant and can be used as a wood preservative. It is also used to make other chemicals. Zinc methyl (Zn(CH3)2) is used in a number of organic syntheses. Zinc sulfide (ZnS) is used in luminescent pigments such as on the hands of clocks, X-ray and television screens, and luminous paints. Crystals of ZnS are used in lasers that operate in the mid-infrared part of the spectrum. Zinc sulfate is a chemical in dyes and pigments. Zinc pyrithione is used in antifouling paints.
Zinc powder is sometimes used as a propellant in model rockets. When a compressed mixture of 70% zinc and 30% sulfur powder is ignited there is a violent chemical reaction. This produces zinc sulfide, together with large amounts of hot gas, heat, and light. Zinc sheet metal is used to make zinc bars.
Zinc has been proposed as a salting material for nuclear weapons (cobalt is another, better-known salting material). A jacket of isotopically enriched 64Zn, irradiated by the intense high-energy neutron flux from an exploding thermonuclear weapon, would transmute into the radioactive isotope 65Zn with a half-life of 244 days and produce massive gamma radiation, significantly increasing the radioactivity of the weapon's fallout for several days. Such a weapon is not known to have ever been built, tested, or used. 65Zn is also used as a tracer to study how alloys that contain zinc wear out, or the path and the role of zinc in organisms.
Zinc dithiocarbamate complexes are used as agricultural fungicides; these include Zineb, Metiram, Propineb and Ziram. Zinc naphthenate is used as wood preservative. Zinc, in the form of ZDDP, is also used as an anti-wear additive for metal parts in engine oil.
Medicinal Zinc is included in most single tablet over-the-counter daily vitamin and mineral supplements. It is believed to possess antioxidant properties, which protect against premature aging of the skin and muscles of the body, although studies differ as to its effectiveness. Zinc also helps speed up the healing process after an injury. Zinc gluconate glycine and zinc acetate are used in throat lozenges or tablets to reduce the duration and the severity of cold symptoms. Preparations include zinc oxide, zinc acetate and zinc gluconate.
Zinc gluconate is one compound used for the delivery of zinc as a dietary supplement Zinc preparations can protect against sunburn in the summer and windburn in the winter. Applied thinly to a baby's diaper area (perineum) with each diaper change, it can protect against diaper rash.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study determined that zinc can be part of an effective treatment for age-related macular degeneration. Zinc supplementation is an effective treatment for acrodermatitis enteropathica, a genetic disorder affecting zinc absorption that was previously fatal to babies born with it.
Zinc lactate is used in toothpaste to prevent halitosis. Zinc pyrithione is widely applied in shampoos because of its anti-dandruff function. Zinc ions are effective antimicrobial agents even at low concentrations. Gastroenteritis is strongly attenuated by ingestion of zinc, and this effect could be due to direct antimicrobial action of the zinc ions in the gastrointestinal tract, or to the absorption of the zinc and re-release from immune cells (all granulocytes secrete zinc), or both.[note 3]
Biological role Zinc is an essential trace element, necessary for plants, animals, and microorganisms. Zinc is found in nearly 100 specific enzymes (other sources say 300), serves as structural ions in transcription factors and is stored and transferred in metallothioneins. It is "typically the second most abundant transition metal in organisms" after iron and it is the only metal which appears in all enzyme classes.
In proteins, Zn ions are often coordinated to the amino acid side chains of aspartic acid, glutamic acid, cysteine and histidine. The theoretical and computational description of this zinc binding in proteins (as well as that of other transition metals) is difficult.
There are 2–4 grams of zinc distributed throughout the human body. Most zinc is in the brain, muscle, bones, kidney, and liver, with the highest concentrations in the prostate and parts of the eye. Semen is particularly rich in zinc, which is a key factor in prostate gland function and reproductive organ growth.
In humans, zinc plays "ubiquitous biological roles". It interacts with "a wide range of organic ligands", and has roles in the metabolism of RNA and DNA, signal transduction, and gene expression. It also regulates apoptosis. A 2006 study estimated that about 10% of human proteins (2800) potentially bind zinc, in addition to hundreds which transport and traffic zinc; a similar in silico study in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana found 2367 zinc-related proteins.
In the brain, zinc is stored in specific synaptic vesicles by glutamatergic neurons and can "modulate brain excitability". It plays a key role in synaptic plasticity and so in learning. However it has been called "the brain's dark horse" since it also can be a neurotoxin, suggesting zinc homeostasis plays a critical role in normal functioning of the brain and central nervous system.
Enzymes Ribbon diagram of human carbonic anhydrase II, with zinc atom visible in the center Zinc is a good Lewis acid, making it a useful catalytic agent in hydroxylation and other enzymatic reactions. The metal also has a flexible coordination geometry, which allows proteins using it to rapidly shift conformations to perform biological reactions. Two examples of zinc-containing enzymes are carbonic anhydrase and carboxypeptidase, which are vital to the processes of carbon dioxide (CO2) regulation and digestion of proteins, respectively.
In vertebrate blood, carbonic anhydrase converts CO2 into bicarbonate and the same enzyme transforms the bicarbonate back into CO2 for exhalation through the lungs. Without this enzyme, this conversion would occur about one million times slower at the normal blood pH of 7 or would require a pH of 10 or more. The non-related ß-carbonic anhydrase is required in plants for leaf formation, the synthesis of indole acetic acid (auxin) and anaerobic respiration (alcoholic fermentation).
Carboxypeptidase cleaves peptide linkages during digestion of proteins. A coordinate covalent bond is formed between the terminal peptide and a C=O group attached to zinc, which gives the carbon a positive charge. This helps to create a hydrophobic pocket on the enzyme near the zinc, which attracts the non-polar part of the protein being digested.
Other proteins Zinc serves a purely structural role in zinc fingers, twists and clusters. Zinc fingers form parts of some transcription factors, which are proteins that recognize DNA base sequences during the replication and transcription of DNA. Each of the nine or ten Zn2+ ions in a zinc finger helps maintain the finger's structure by coordinately binding to four amino acids in the transcription factor. The transcription factor wraps around the DNA helix and uses its fingers to accurately bind to the DNA sequence.
Zinc fingers help read DNA sequences In blood plasma, zinc is bound to and transported by albumin (60%, low-affinity) and transferrin (10%). Since transferrin also transports iron, excessive iron reduces zinc absorption, and vice-versa. A similar reaction occurs with copper. The concentration of zinc in blood plasma stays relatively constant regardless of zinc intake. Cells in the salivary gland, prostate, immune system and intestine use zinc signaling as one way to communicate with other cells.
Zinc may be held in metallothionein reserves within microorganisms or in the intestines or liver of animals. Metallothionein in intestinal cells is capable of adjusting absorption of zinc by 15–40%. However, inadequate or excessive zinc intake can be harmful; excess zinc particularly impairs copper absorption because metallothionein absorbs both metals.
Reference ranges for blood tests, showing zinc in purple at center-right. Dietary intake Foods and spices that contain zinc In the U.S., the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 8 mg/day for women and 11 mg/day for men. Median intake in the U.S. around 2000 was 9 mg/day for women and 14 mg/day in men. Red meats, especially beef, lamb and liver have some of the highest concentrations of zinc in food.
The concentration of zinc in plants varies based on levels of the element in soil. When there is adequate zinc in the soil, the food plants that contain the most zinc are wheat (germ and bran) and various seeds (sesame, poppy, alfalfa, celery, mustard). Zinc is also found in beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and blackcurrant. Soil conservation is needed to make sure that crop rotation will not deplete the zinc in soil.
Other sources include fortified food and dietary supplements, which come in various forms. A 1998 review concluded that zinc oxide, one of the most common supplements in the United States, and zinc carbonate are nearly insoluble and poorly absorbed in the body. This review cited studies which found low plasma zinc concentrations after zinc oxide and zinc carbonate were consumed compared with those seen after consumption of zinc acetate and sulfate salts. However, harmful excessive supplementation is a problem among the relatively affluent, and should probably not exceed 20 mg/day in healthy people, although the U.S. National Research Council set a Tolerable Upper Intake of 40 mg/day.
For fortification, however, a 2003 review recommended zinc oxide in cereals as cheap, stable, and as easily absorbed as more expensive forms. A 2005 study found that various compounds of zinc, including oxide and sulfate, did not show statistically significant differences in absorption when added as fortificants to maize tortillas.
Deficiency Main article: Zinc deficiency Zinc deficiency is usually due to insufficient dietary intake, but can be associated with malabsorption, acrodermatitis enteropathica, chronic liver disease, chronic renal disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, malignancy, and other chronic illnesses. Symptoms of mild zinc deficiency are diverse. Clinical outcomes include depressed growth, diarrhea, impotence and delayed sexual maturation, alopecia, eye and skin lesions, impaired appetite, altered cognition, impaired host defense properties, defects in carbohydrate utilization, and reproductive teratogenesis. Mild zinc deficiency depresses immunity, although excessive zinc does also. Animals with a diet deficient in zinc require twice as much food in order to attain the same weight gain as animals given sufficient zinc.
Groups at risk for zinc deficiency include the elderly, vegetarians, and those with renal insufficiency. The zinc chelator phytate, found in seeds and cereal bran, can contribute to zinc malabsorption in those with heavily vegetarian diets. There is a paucity of adequate zinc biomarkers, and the most widely used indicator, plasma zinc, has poor sensitivity and specificity. Diagnosing zinc deficiency is a persistent challenge.
Nearly two billion people in the developing world are deficient in zinc. In children it causes an increase in infection and diarrhea, contributing to the death of about 800,000 children worldwide per year. The World Health Organization advocates zinc supplementation for severe malnutrition and diarrhea. Zinc supplements help prevent disease and reduce mortality, especially among children with low birth weight or stunted growth. However, zinc supplements should not be administered alone, since many in the developing world have several deficiencies, and zinc interacts with other micronutrients.
Zinc deficiency is crop plants' most common micronutrient deficiency; it is particularly common in high-pH soils. Zinc-deficient soil is cultivated in the cropland of about half of Turkey and India, a third of China, and most of Western Australia, and substantial responses to zinc fertilization have been reported in these areas. Plants that grow in soils that are zinc-deficient are more susceptible to disease. Zinc is primarily added to the soil through the weathering of rocks, but humans have added zinc through fossil fuel combustion, mine waste, phosphate fertilizers, limestone, manure, sewage sludge, and particles from galvanized surfaces. Excess zinc is toxic to plants, although zinc toxicity is far less widespread.
Precautions Toxicity Although zinc is an essential requirement for good health, excess zinc can be harmful. Excessive absorption of zinc suppresses copper and iron absorption. The free zinc ion in solution is highly toxic to plants, invertebrates, and even vertebrate fish. The Free Ion Activity Model is well-established in the literature, and shows that just micromolar amounts of the free ion kills some organisms. A recent example showed 6 micromolar killing 93% of all Daphnia in water.
The free zinc ion is a powerful Lewis acid up to the point of being corrosive. Stomach acid contains hydrochloric acid, in which metallic zinc dissolves readily to give corrosive zinc chloride. Swallowing a post-1982 American one cent piece (97.5% zinc) can cause damage to the stomach lining due to the high solubility of the zinc ion in the acidic stomach.
There is evidence of induced copper deficiency at low intakes of 100–300 mg Zn/day; a recent trial had higher hospitalizations among elderly men taking 80 mg/day. The USDA RDA is 15 mg Zn/day. Even lower levels, closer to the RDA, may interfere with the utilization of copper and iron or adversely affect cholesterol. Levels of zinc in excess of 500 ppm in soil interfere with the ability of plants to absorb other essential metals, such as iron and manganese. There is also a condition called the zinc shakes or "zinc chills" that can be induced by the inhalation of freshly formed zinc oxide formed during the welding of galvanized materials.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that zinc damages nerve receptors in the nose, which can cause anosmia. Reports of anosmia were also observed in the 1930s when zinc preparations were used in a failed attempt to prevent polio infections. On June 16, 2009, the FDA said that consumers should stop using zinc-based intranasal cold products and ordered their removal from store shelves. The FDA said the loss of smell can be life-threatening because people with impaired smell cannot detect leaking gas or smoke and cannot tell if food has spoiled before they eat it.
Poisoning In 1982, the United States Mint began minting pennies coated in copper but made primarily of zinc. With the new zinc pennies, there is the potential for zinc toxicosis, which can be fatal. One reported case of chronic ingestion of 425 pennies (over 1 kg of zinc) resulted in death due to gastrointestinal bacterial and fungal sepsis, while another patient, who ingested 12 grams of zinc, only showed lethargy and ataxia (gross lack of coordination of muscle movements). Several other cases have been reported of humans suffering zinc intoxication by the ingestion of zinc coins.
Pennies and other small coins are sometimes ingested by dogs, resulting in the need for medical treatment to remove the foreign body. The zinc content of some coins can cause zinc toxicity, which is commonly fatal in dogs, where it causes a severe hemolytic anemia, and also liver or kidney damage; vomiting and diarrhea are possible symptoms. Zinc is highly toxic in parrots and poisoning can often be fatal. The consumption of fruit juices stored in galvanized cans has resulted in mass parrot poisonings with zinc.
See also Wet storage stain - a kind of zinc corrosion Notes ^ An East India Company ship carrying a cargo of nearly pure zinc metal from the Orient sank off the coast Sweden in 1745.(Emsley 2001, p. 502)
^ Electric current will naturally flow between zinc and steel but larger pipeline systems require a rectifier that adds an induced DC electric current to the CP system.
^ In clinical trials, both zinc gluconate and zinc gluconate glycine (the formulation used in lozenges) have been shown to shorten the duration of symptoms of the common cold.
Godfrey, J. C.; Godfrey, N. J.; Novick, S. G. (1996). "Zinc for treating the common cold: Review of all clinical trials since 1984". Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. PMID 8942045.
The amount of glycine can vary from two to twenty moles per mole of zinc gluconate. One review of the research found that out of nine controlled experiments using zinc lozenges, the results were positive in four studies, and no better than placebo in five.
Hulisz, Darrell T. "Zinc and the Common Cold: What Pharmacists Need to Know". US Pharmacist. uspharmacist.com. Retrieved 2008-11-28. This review also suggested that the research is characterized by methodological problems, including differences in the dosage amount used, and the use of self-report data. The evidence suggests that zinc supplements may be most effective if they are taken at the first sign of cold symptoms.
Manganese (pronounced /'mæ?g?ni?z/, MANG-g?n-neez) is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature (often in combination with iron), and in many minerals. As a free element, manganese is a metal with important industrial metal alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels.
Manganese phosphating is used as a treatment for rust and corrosion prevention on steel. Manganese ions have various colors, depending on their oxidation state, and are used industrially as pigments. The permanganates of sodium, potassium and barium are powerful oxidizers. Manganese dioxide is used as the cathode (electron acceptor) material in standard and alkaline disposable dry cells and batteries.
Manganese(II) ions function as cofactors for a number of enzymes in higher organisms, where they are essential in detoxification of superoxide free radicals. The element is a required trace mineral for all known living organisms. In larger amounts, and apparently with far greater activity by inhalation, manganese can cause a poisoning syndrome in mammals, with neurological damage which is sometimes irreversible.
Physical Manganese is a gray–white metal, resembling iron. It is a hard metal and is very brittle, fusible with difficulty, but easily oxidized. Manganese metal and its common ions are paramagnetic.
Isotopes Main article: Isotopes of manganese Naturally occurring manganese is composed of 1 stable isotope; 55Mn. 18 radioisotopes have been characterized with the most stable being 53Mn with a half-life of 3.7 million years, 54Mn with a half–life of 312.3 days, and 52Mn with a half–life of 5.591 days. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives that are less than 3 hours and the majority of these have half-lives that are less than 1 minute. This element also has 3 meta states.
Manganese is part of the iron group of elements, which are thought to be synthesized in large stars shortly before the supernova explosion. 53Mn decays to 53Cr with a half-life of 3.7 million years. Because of its relatively short half-life, 53Mn occurs only in tiny amounts due to the action of cosmic rays on iron in rocks . Manganese isotopic contents are typically combined with chromium isotopic contents and have found application in isotope geology and radiometric dating. Mn–Cr isotopic ratios reinforce the evidence from 26Al and 107Pd for the early history of the solar system. Variations in 53Cr/52Cr and Mn/Cr ratios from several meteorites indicate an initial 53Mn/55Mn ratio that suggests Mn–Cr isotopic systematics must result from in–situ decay of 53Mn in differentiated planetary bodies. Hence 53Mn provides additional evidence for nucleosynthetic processes immediately before coalescence of the solar system.
The isotopes of manganese range in atomic weight from 46 u (46Mn) to 65 u (65Mn). The primary decay mode before the most abundant stable isotope, 55Mn, is electron capture and the primary mode after is beta decay.
of manganese[note 1]
Mineral rhodochrosite (manganese(II) carbonate) Manganese(II) chloride Aqueous solution of KMnO4 The most common oxidation states of manganese are +2, +3, +4, +6 and +7, though oxidation states from -3 to +7 are observed. Mn2+ often competes with Mg2+ in biological systems. Manganese compounds where manganese is in oxidation state +7, which are restricted to the oxide Mn2O7 and compounds of the intensely purple permanganate anion MnO4-, are powerful oxidizing agents. Compounds with oxidation states +5 (blue) and +6 (green) are strong oxidizing agents and are vulnerable to disproportionation.
The most stable oxidation state for manganese is +2, which has a pink to red color, and many manganese(II) compounds are known, such as manganese(II) sulfate (MnSO4) and manganese(II) chloride (MnCl2). This oxidation state is also seen in the mineral rhodochrosite, (manganese(II) carbonate). The +2 oxidation state is the state used in living organisms for essential functions; all of the other states are much more toxic.
The +3 oxidation state is known, in compounds such as manganese(III) acetate, but these are quite powerful oxidizing agents and also disproportionate in solution to Mn(II) and Mn(IV). Solid compounds of Mn(III) are characterized by its preference for distorted octahedral coordination due to the Jahn-Teller effect and its strong purple-red color.
The oxidation state 5+ can be obtained if manganese dioxide is dissolved in molten sodium nitrite. Manganate (VI) salts can also be produced by dissolving Mn compounds in alkaline melts in air.
Permanganate (+7 oxidation state) manganese compounds are purple, and can color glass an amethyst color. Potassium permanganate, sodium permanganate and barium permanganate are all potent oxidizers. Potassium permanganate, also called Condy's crystals, is a commonly used laboratory reagent because of its oxidizing properties and finds use as a topical medicine (for example, in the treatment of fish diseases). Solutions of potassium permanganate were among the first stains and fixatives to be used in the preparation of biological cells and tissues for electron microscopy.
History The origin of the name manganese is complex. In ancient times, two black minerals from Magnesia in what is now modern Greece were both called magnes, but were thought to differ in gender. The male magnes attracted iron, and was the iron ore we now know as lodestone or magnetite, and which probably gave us the term magnet. The female magnes ore did not attract iron, but was used to decolorize glass. This feminine magnes was later called magnesia, known now in modern times as pyrolusite or manganese dioxide. This mineral is never magnetic (although manganese itself is paramagnetic). In the 16th century, the latter compound was called manganesum (note the two n's instead of one) by glassmakers, possibly as a corruption of two words since alchemists and glassmakers eventually had to differentiate a magnesia negra (the black ore) from magnesia alba (a white ore, also from Magnesia, also useful in glassmaking). Michele Mercati called magnesia negra Manganesa, and finally the metal isolated from it became known as manganese (German: Mangan). The name magnesia eventually was then used to refer only to the white magnesia alba (magnesium oxide), which provided the name magnesium for that free element, when it was eventually isolated, much later.
Some of the cave painting in Lascaux, France use manganese-based pigments. Several oxides of manganese, for example manganese dioxide, are abundant in nature and due to color these oxides have been used as since the Stone Age. The cave paintings in Gargas contain manganese as pigments and these cave paintings are 30,000 to 24,000 years old.
Manganese compounds were used by Egyptian and Roman glassmakers, to either remove color from glass or add color to it. The use as glassmakers soap continued through the middle ages until modern times and is evident in 14th century glass from Venice.
Credit for first isolating of manganese is usually given to Johan Gottlieb Gahn Due to the use in glassmaking manganese dioxide was available to alchemists the first chemists and was used for experiments. Ignatius Gottfried Kaim (1770) and Johann Glauber (17th century) discovered that manganese dioxide could be converted to permanganate, a useful laboratory reagent. By the mid-18th century the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele used manganese dioxide to produce chlorine. First hydrochloric acid, or a mixture of dilute sulfuric acid and sodium chloride was reacted with manganese dioxide, later hydrochloric acid from the Leblanc process was used and the manganese dioxide was recycled by the Weldon process. The production of chlorine and hypochlorite containing bleaching agents was a large consumer of manganese ores.
Scheele and other chemists were aware that manganese dioxide contained a new element, but they were not able to isolate it. Johan Gottlieb Gahn was the first to isolate an impure sample of manganese metal in 1774, by reducing the dioxide with carbon.
The manganese content of some iron ores used in Greece led to the speculations that the steel produced from that ore contains inadvertent amounts of manganese making the Spartan steel exceptionally hard. Around the beginning of the 19th century, manganese was used in steelmaking and several patents were granted. In 1816, it was noted that adding manganese to iron made it harder, without making it any more brittle. In 1837, British academic James Couper noted an association between heavy exposures to manganese in mines with a form of Parkinson's Disease. In 1912, manganese phosphating electrochemical conversion coatings for protecting firearms against rust and corrosion were patented in the United States, and have seen widespread use ever since.
With the invention of the Leclanché cell in 1866 and the subsequent improvement of the batteries containing manganese dioxide as cathodic depolarizer increased the demand of manganese dioxide. Until the introduction of the nickel-cadmium battery and lithium containing batteries most of the batteries on the market contained manganese. The Zinc-carbon battery and the alkaline battery normally use industrially produced manganese dioxide, because natural occurring manganese dioxide contains impurities. In the 20th century, manganese dioxide has seen wide commercial use as the chief cathodic material for commercial disposable dry cells and dry batteries of both the standard (carbon–zinc) and alkaline type.
Occurrence and production See also: category:Manganese minerals Manganese makes up about 1000 ppm (0.1%) of the Earth's crust, making it the 12th most abundant element there. Soil contains 7–9000 ppm of manganese with an average of 440 ppm. Seawater has only 10 ppm manganese and the atmosphere contains 0.01 µg/m3. Manganese occurs principally as pyrolusite (MnO2), braunite, (Mn2+Mn3+6)(SiO12), psilomelane (Ba,H2O)2Mn5O10, and to a lesser extent as rhodochrosite (MnCO3).
Manganese ore Psilomelane (manganese ore) Spiegeleisen is an iron alloy with a manganese content of approximately 15% Manganese oxide dendrites on a limestone bedding plane from Solingen, Germany—a kind of pseudofossil. Scale is in mm
Percentage of manganese output in 2006 by countries The most important manganese ore is pyrolusite (MnO2). Other economically important manganese ores usually show a close spatial relation to the iron ores. Land-based resources are large but irregularly distributed. Over 80% of the known world manganese resources are found in South Africa and Ukraine, other important manganese deposits are in Australia, India, China, Gabon and Brazil. In 1978 it was estimated that 500 billion tons of manganese nodules exist on the ocean floor. Attempts to find economically viable methods of harvesting manganese nodules were abandoned in the 1970s.
Manganese is mined in South Africa, Australia, China, Brazil, Gabon, Ukraine, India and Ghana and Kazakhstan. US Import Sources (1998–2001): Manganese ore: Gabon, 70%; South Africa, 10%; Australia, 9%; Mexico, 5%; and other, 6%. Ferromanganese: South Africa, 47%; France, 22%; Mexico, 8%; Australia, 8%; and other, 15%. Manganese contained in all manganese imports: South Africa, 31%; Gabon, 21%; Australia, 13%; Mexico, 8%; and other, 27%.
For the production of ferromanganese the manganese ore are mixed with iron ore and carbon and then reduced either in a blast furnace or in an electric arc furnace. The resulting ferromanganese has a manganese content of 30 to 80%. Pure manganese used for the production of non-iron alloys is produced by leaching manganese ore with sulfuric acid and a subsequent electrowinning process.
Applications Manganese has no satisfactory substitute in its major applications, which are related to metallurgical alloy use. In minor applications, (e.g., manganese phosphating), zinc and sometimes vanadium are viable substitutes. In disposable battery manufacture, standard and alkaline cells using manganese will probably eventually be mostly replaced with lithium battery technology.
Steel British Brodie helmet Manganese is essential to iron and steel production by virtue of its sulfur-fixing, deoxidizing, and alloying properties. Steelmaking, including its ironmaking component, has accounted for most manganese demand, presently in the range of 85% to 90% of the total demand. Among a variety of other uses, manganese is a key component of low-cost stainless steel formulations.
Small amounts of manganese improve the workability of steel at high temperatures, because it forms a high melting sulfide and therefore prevents the formation of a liquid iron sulfide at the grain boundaries. If the manganese content reaches 4% the embrittlement of the steel becomes a dominant feature. The embrittlement decreases at higher manganese concentrations and reaches an acceptable level at 8%. The fact that steel containing 8 to 15% of manganese is cold hardening and can obtain a high tensile strength of up to 863 MPa, steel with 12% manganese was used for the British steel helmets. This steel composition was discovered in 1882 by Robert Hadfield and is still known as Hadfield steel.
Aluminium alloys Main article: Aluminium alloy The second large application for manganese is as alloying agent for aluminium. Aluminium with a manganese content of roughly 1.5% has an increased resistance against corrosion due to the formation of grains absorbing impurities which would lead to galvanic corrosion. The corrosion resistant aluminium alloy 3004 and 3104 with a manganese content of 0.8 to 1.5% are the alloy used for most of the beverage cans. Before year 2000, in excess of 1.6 million metric tons have been used of those alloys, with a content of 1% of manganese this amount would need 16,000 metric tons of manganese.
Other use Wartime nickel made from a copper-silver-manganese alloy Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl is used as an additive in unleaded gasoline to boost octane rating and reduce engine knocking. The manganese in this unusual organometallic compound is in the +1 oxidation state.
Manganese(IV) oxide (manganese dioxide, MnO2) is used as a reagent in organic chemistry for the oxidation of benzylic alcohols (i.e. adjacent to an aromatic ring). Manganese dioxide has been used since antiquity to oxidatively neutralize the greenish tinge in glass caused by trace amounts of iron contamination. MnO2 is also used in the manufacture of oxygen and chlorine, and in drying black paints. In some preparations it is a brown pigment that can be used to make paint and is a constituent of natural umber.
Manganese(IV) oxide was used in the original type of dry cell battery as an electron acceptor from zinc, and is the blackish material found when opening carbon–zinc type flashlight cells. The manganese dioxide is reduced to the manganese oxide-hydroxide MnO(OH) during discharging, preventing the formation of hydrogen at the anode of the battery.
MnO2 + H2O + e- ? MnO(OH) + OH- The same material also functions in newer alkaline batteries (usually battery cells), which use the same basic reaction, but a different electrolyte mixture. In 2002 more than 230,000 tons of manganese dioxide was used for this purpose.
The metal is very occasionally used in coins; the only United States coins to use manganese were the "wartime" nickel from 1942–1945. Due to shortage of raw materials in the war the nickel in the alloy (75% copper and 25% nickel) used for the production of the nickel before was substituted by the less critical metals silver and manganese (56% copper, 35% silver and 9% manganese). Since 2000, dollar coins, for example the Sacagawea dollar and the Presidential $1 Coins, are made from a brass containing 7% of manganese with a pure copper core.
Manganese compounds have been used as pigments and for the coloring of ceramics and glass. The brown color of ceramic is sometimes based on manganese compounds. In the glass industry manganese compounds are used for two effects. Manganese(III) reacts with iron(II). The reaction induces a strong green color in glass by forming less-colored iron(III) and slightly pink manganese(II), compensating the residual color of the iron(III). Larger amounts of manganese are used to produce pink colored glass.
Biological role Reactive center of arginase with boronic acid inhibitor. The manganese atoms are shown in yellow. Manganese is an essential trace nutrient in all forms of life. The classes of enzymes that have manganese cofactors are very broad and include such classes as oxidoreductases, transferases, hydrolases, lyases, isomerases, ligases, lectins, and integrins. The reverse transcriptases of many retroviruses (though not lentiviruses such as HIV) contain manganese. The best known manganese-containing polypeptides may be arginase, the diphtheria toxin, and Mn-containing superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD).
Mn-SOD is the type of SOD present in eukaryotic mitochondria, and also in most bacteria (this fact is in keeping with the bacterial-origin theory of mitochondria). The Mn-SOD enzyme is probably one of the most ancient, for nearly all organisms living in the presence of oxygen use it to deal with the toxic effects of superoxide, formed from the 1-electron reduction of dioxygen. Exceptions include a few kinds of bacteria such as Lactobacillus plantarum and related lactobacilli, which use a different non-enzymatic mechanism, involving manganese (Mn2+) ions complexed with polyphosphate directly for this task, indicating how this function possibly evolved in aerobic life.
The human body contains about 10 mg of manganese, which is stored mainly in the liver and kidneys. In the human brain the manganese is bound to manganese metalloproteins most notably glutamine synthetase in astrocytes.
Manganese is also important in photosynthetic oxygen evolution in chloroplasts in plants. The oxygen evolving complex (OEC) is a part of Photosystem II contained in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts; it is responsible for the terminal photooxidation of water during the light reactions of photosynthesis and has a metalloenzyme core containing four atoms of manganese. For this reason, most broad-spectrum plant fertilizers contain manganese.
Precautions Manganese compounds are less toxic than those of other widespread metals such as nickel and copper. However, exposure to manganese dusts and fumes should not exceed the ceiling value of 5 mg/m3 even for short periods because of its toxicity level. Manganese poses a particular risk for children due to its propensity to bind to CH-7 receptors. Manganese poisoning has been linked to impaired motor skills and cognitive disorders.
The permanganate exhibits a higher toxicity than the manganese(II) compounds. Several fatal intoxications have occurred, although the fatal dose is around 10 g. The strong oxidative effect leads to necrosis of the mucous membrane. For example, the esophagus is affected if the permanganate is swallowed. Only a limited amount is absorbed by the intestines but this small amount shows severe effects on the kidneys and on the liver.
In 2005, a study suggested a possible link between manganese inhalation and central nervous system toxicity in rats. It is hypothesized that long-term exposure to the naturally occurring manganese in shower water puts up to 8.7 million Americans at risk.
A form of neurodegeneration similar to Parkinson's Disease called "manganism" has been linked to manganese exposure amongst miners and smelters since the early 19th century. Allegations of inhalation-induced manganism have been made regarding the welding industry. Manganese exposure in United States is regulated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Copper (pronounced /'k?p?r/, KOP-?r) is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is rather soft and malleable and a freshly-exposed surface has a pinkish or peachy color. It is used as a thermal conductor, an electrical conductor, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys.
Copper metal and alloys have been used for thousands of years. In the Roman era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, hence the origin of the name of the metal as Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus", later shortened to Cuprum. There may be insufficient reserves to sustain current high rates of copper consumption. Some countries, such as Chile and the United States, still have sizable reserves of the metal which are extracted through large open pit mines.
Copper compounds are known in several oxidation states, usually 2+, where they often impart blue or green colors to natural minerals such as turquoise and have been used historically widely as pigments. Copper as both metal and pigmented salt, has a significant presence in decorative art. Copper 2+ ions are soluble in water, where they function at low concentration as bacteriostatic substances and fungicides. For this reason, copper metal can be used as an anti-germ surface that can add to the anti-bacterial and antimicrobial features of buildings such as hospitals. In sufficient amounts, copper salts can be poisonous to higher organisms as well. However, despite universal toxicity at high concentrations, the 2+ copper ion at lower concentrations is an essential trace nutrient to all higher plant and animal life. In animals, including humans, it is found widely in tissues, with concentration in liver, muscle, and bone. It functions as a co-factor in various enzymes and in copper-based pigments.
Copper Age Main article: Copper Age Copper, as native copper, is one of the few metals to occur naturally as an un-compounded mineral. Copper was known to some of the oldest civilizations on record, and has a history of use that is at least 10,000 years old. Some estimates of copper's discovery place this event around 9000 BC in the Middle East. A copper pendant was found in what is now northern Iraq that dates to 8700 BC. It is probable that gold and meteoritic iron were the only metals used by humans before copper. By 5000 BC, there are signs of copper smelting: the refining of copper from simple copper compounds such as malachite or azurite. Among archaeological sites in Anatolia, Çatal Höyük (~6000 BC) features native copper artifacts and smelted lead beads, but no smelted copper. Can Hasan (~5000 BC) had access to smelted copper but the oldest smelted copper artifact found (a copper chisel from the chalcolithic site of Prokuplje in Serbia) has pre-dated Can Hasan by 500 years. The smelting facilities in the Balkans appear to be more advanced than the Turkish forges found at a later date, so it is quite probable that copper smelting originated in the Balkans. Investment casting was realized in 4500–4000 BCE in Southeast Asia.
Ancient Copper ingot from Zakros, Crete is shaped in the form of an animal skin typical for that era. Copper smelting appears to have been developed independently in several parts of the world. In addition to its development in the Balkans by 5500 BC, it was developed in China before 2800 BC, in the Andes around 2000 BC, in Central America around 600 AD, and in West Africa around 900 AD. Copper is found extensively in the Indus Valley Civilization by the 3rd millennium BC. In Europe, Ötzi the Iceman, a well-preserved male dated to 3300–3200 BC, was found with an axe with a copper head 99.7% pure. High levels of arsenic in his hair suggest he was involved in copper smelting. Over the course of centuries, experience with copper has assisted the development of other metals; for example, knowledge of copper smelting led to the discovery of iron smelting.
In the Americas production in the Old Copper Complex, located in present day Michigan and Wisconsin, was dated back to between 6000 to 3000 BC.
Bronze Age Alloying of copper with zinc or tin to make brass or bronze was practiced soon after the discovery of copper itself. There exist copper and bronze artifacts from Sumerian cities that date to 3000 BC, and Egyptian artifacts of copper and copper-tin alloys nearly as old. In one pyramid, a copper plumbing system was found that is 5000 years old. The Egyptians found that adding a small amount of tin made the metal easier to cast, so copper-tin (bronze) alloys were found in Egypt almost as soon as copper was found. Very important sources of copper in the Levant were located in Timna valley (Negev, now in southern Israel) and Faynan (biblical Punon, Jordan).
By 2000 BC, Europe was using bronze. The use of bronze became so widespread in Europe approximately from 2500 BC to 600 BC that it has been named the Bronze Age. The transitional period in certain regions between the preceding Neolithic period and the Bronze Age is termed the Chalcolithic ("copper-stone"), with some high-purity copper tools being used alongside stone tools. Brass (copper-zinc alloy) was known to the Greeks, but only became a significant supplement to bronze during the Roman empire.
During the Bronze Age, one copper mine at Great Orme in North Wales, extended for a depth of 70 meters. At Alderley Edge in Cheshire, carbon dates have established mining at around 2280 to 1890 BC (at 95% probability).
Antiquity and Middle Ages In alchemy the symbol for copper, perhaps a stylized mirror, was also the symbol for the goddess and planet Venus.
Chalcolithic copper mine in Timna Valley, Negev Desert, Israel. In Greek the metal was known by the name chalkos (?a????). Copper was a very important resource for the Romans, Greeks and other ancient peoples. In Roman times, it became known as aes Cyprium (aes being the generic Latin term for copper alloys such as bronze and other metals, and Cyprium because so much of it was mined in Cyprus). From this, the phrase was simplified to cuprum, hence the English copper. Copper was associated with the goddess Aphrodite/Venus in mythology and alchemy, owing to its lustrous beauty, its ancient use in producing mirrors, and its association with Cyprus, which was sacred to the goddess. In astrology, alchemy the seven heavenly bodies known to the ancients were associated with seven metals also known in antiquity, and Venus was assigned to copper.
Britain's first use of brass occurred around the 3rd - 2nd century B.C. In North America, copper mining began with marginal workings by Native Americans. Native copper is known to have been extracted from sites on Isle Royale with primitive stone tools between 800 and 1600.
Copper metallurgy was flourishing in South America, particularly in Peru around the beginning of the first millennium AD. Copper technology proceeded at a much slower rate on other continents. Africa's major location for copper reserves is Zambia. Copper burial ornamentals dated from the 15th century have been uncovered, but the metal's commercial production did not start until the early 1900s. Australian copper artifacts exist, but they appear only after the arrival of the Europeans; the aboriginal culture apparently did not develop their own metallurgical abilities.
Crucial in the metallurgical and technological worlds, copper has also played an important cultural role, particularly in currency. Romans in the 6th through 3rd centuries B.C. used copper lumps as money. At first, just the copper itself was valued, but gradually the shape and look of the copper became more important. Julius Caesar had his own coins, made from a copper-zinc alloy, while Octavianus Augustus Caesar's coins were made from Cu-Pb-Sn alloys.
The gates of the Temple of Jerusalem used Corinthian bronze made by depletion gilding. Corinthian bronze was most prevalent in Alexandria, where alchemy is thought to have begun. In ancient India (before 1000 B.C.), copper was used in the holistic medical science Ayurveda for surgical instruments and other medical equipment. Ancient Egyptians (~2400 B.C.) used copper for sterilizing wounds and drinking water, and as time passed, (~1500 B.C.) for headaches, burns, and itching. Hippocrates (~400 B.C.) used copper to treat leg ulcers associated with varicose veins. Ancient Aztecs fought sore throats by gargling with copper mixtures.
Copper is also the part of many rich stories and legends, such as that of Iraq's Baghdad Battery. Copper cylinders soldered to lead, which date back to 248 B.C. to 226 A.D, resemble a galvanic cell, leading people to believe this may have been the first battery. This claim has so far not been substantiated.
The Bible also refers to the importance of copper: "Men know how to mine silver and refine gold, to dig iron from the earth and melt copper from stone" (Job. 28:1–2).
Modern period The Great Copper Mountain was a mine in Falun, Sweden, that operated for a millennium from the 10th century to 1992. It produced as much as two thirds of Europe's copper needs in the 17th century and helped fund many of Sweden's wars during that time. It was referred to as the nation's treasury; Sweden had a copper backed currency.
Throughout history, copper's use in art has extended far beyond currency. Vannoccio Biringuccio, Giorgio Vasari and Benvenuto Cellini are three Renaissance sculptors from the mid 1500s, notable for their work with bronze. From about 1560 to about 1775, thin sheets of copper were commonly used as a canvas for paintings. Silver plated copper was used in the pre-photograph known as the daguerreotype. The Statue of Liberty, dedicated on October 28, 1886, was constructed of copper thought to have come from French-owned mines in Norway.
Plating was a technology that started in the mid 1600s in some areas. One common use for copper plating, widespread in the 1700s, was the sheathing of ships' hulls. Copper sheathing could be used to protect wooden hulled ships from algae, and from the shipworm "Teredo navalis", a saltwater clam. The ships of Christopher Columbus were among the earliest to have this protection. The Norddeutsche Affinerie in Hamburg was the first modern electroplating plant starting its production in 1876.
In 1801 Paul Revere established America's first copper rolling mill in Canton, Massachusetts. In the early 1800s, it was discovered that copper wire could be used as a conductor, but it wasn't until 1990 that copper, in oxide form, was discovered for use as a superconducting material. The German scientist Gottfried Osann invented powder metallurgy of copper in 1830 while determining the metal's atomic weight. Around then it was also discovered that the amount and type of alloying element (e.g. tin) would affect the tones of bells, allowing for a variety of rich sounds, leading to bell casting, another common use for copper and its alloys.
Flash smelting, was developed by Outokumpu in Finland and first applied at the Harjavalta plant in 1949. The process makes smelting more energy efficient and is today used for 50% of the world’s primary copper production.
Copper has been pivotal in the economic and sociological worlds, notably disputes involving copper mines. The 1906 Cananea Strike in Mexico dealt with issues of work organization. The Teniente copper mine (1904-1951) raised political issues about capitalism and class structure. Japan's largest copper mine, the Ashio mine, was the site of a riot in 1907. The Arizona miners' strike of 1938 dealt with American labor issues including the "right to strike".
Characteristics Color Copper just above its melting point keeps its pink luster color when enough light outshines the orange incandescence color.
Copper has a reddish, orangish, or brownish color because a thin layer of tarnish (including oxides) gradually forms on its surface when gases (especially oxygen) in the air react with it. But pure copper, when fresh, is actually a pinkish or peachy metal. Copper, caesium and gold are the only three elemental metals with a natural color other than gray or silver. The usual gray color of metals depends on their "electron sea" that is capable of absorbing and re-emitting photons over a wide range of frequencies. Copper has its characteristic color because of its unique band structure. By Madelung's rule the 4s subshell should be filled before electrons are placed in the 3d subshell but copper is an exception to the rule with only one electron in the 4s subshell instead of two. The energy of a photon of blue or violet light is sufficient for a d band electron to absorb it and transition to the half-full s band. Thus the light reflected by copper is missing some blue/violet components and appears red. This phenomenon is shared with gold which has a corresponding 5s/4d structure. In its liquefied state, a pure copper surface without ambient light appears somewhat greenish, a characteristic shared with gold. When liquid copper is in bright ambient light, it retains some of its pinkish luster. When copper is burnt in oxygen it gives off a black oxide.
Group 11 of the periodic table Copper occupies the same family of the periodic table as silver and gold, since they each have one s-orbital electron on top of a filled electron shell which forms metallic bonds. This similarity in electron structure makes them similar in many characteristics. All have very high thermal and electrical conductivity, and all are malleable metals. Among pure metals at room temperature, copper has the second highest electrical and thermal conductivity, after silver.
Occurrence Native copper, ca. 4×2 cm. Copper can be found as native copper in mineral form (for example, in Michigan's Keewenaw Peninsula). It is a polycrystal, with the largest single crystals measuring 4.4x3.2x3.2 cm3. Minerals such as the sulfides: chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), bornite (Cu5FeS4), covellite (CuS), chalcocite (Cu2S) are sources of copper, as are the carbonates: azurite (Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2) and malachite (Cu2CO3(OH)2) and the oxide: cuprite (Cu2O).
Mechanical properties Copper is easily worked, being both ductile and malleable. The ease with which it can be drawn into wire makes it useful for electrical work in addition to its excellent electrical properties. Copper can be machined, although it is usually necessary to use an alloy for intricate parts, such as threaded components, to get really good machinability characteristics. Good thermal conduction makes it useful for heatsinks and in heat exchangers. Copper has good corrosion resistance, but not as good as gold. It has excellent brazing and soldering properties and can also be welded, although best results are obtained with gas metal arc welding.
Copper is normally supplied, as with nearly all metals for industrial and commercial use, in a fine grained polycrystalline form. Polycrystalline metals have greater strength than monocrystalline forms, and the difference is greater for smaller grain (crystal) sizes. The reason is due to the inability of stress dislocations in the crystal structure to cross the grain boundaries.
Electrical properties Copper electrical busbars distributing power to a large building. At 59.6 × 106 S/m copper has the second highest electrical conductivity of any element, just after silver. This high value is due to virtually all the valence electrons (one per atom) taking part in conduction. The resulting free electrons in the copper amount to a huge charge density of 13.6x109 C/m3. This high charge density is responsible for the rather slow drift velocity of currents in copper cable (drift velocity may be calculated as the ratio of current density to charge density). For instance, at a current density of 5x106 A/m2 (typically, the maximum current density present in household wiring and grid distribution) the drift velocity is just a little over ? mm/s.
Corrosion In contact with other metals Main article: Galvanic corrosion Copper should not be in direct mechanical contact with metals of different electropotential (for example, a copper pipe joined to an iron pipe), especially in the presence of moisture, as the completion of an electrical circuit (for instance through the common ground) will cause the juncture to act as an electrochemical cell (like a single cell of a battery). The weak electrical currents themselves are harmless but the electrochemical reaction will cause the conversion of the iron to other compounds, eventually destroying the functionality of the union. This problem is usually solved in plumbing by separating copper pipe from iron pipe with some non-conducting segment (usually plastic or rubber).
In solutions Copper does not react with water, but it slowly reacts with atmospheric oxygen forming a layer of brown-black copper oxide. In contrast to the oxidation of iron by wet air, this oxide layer stops the further, bulk corrosion. A green layer of copper carbonate, called verdigris, can often be seen on old copper constructions, such as the Statue of Liberty.
Copper reacts with hydrogen sulfide- and sulfide-containing solutions, forming various copper sulfides on its surface. In sulfide-containing solutions, copper is less noble than hydrogen and will corrode. This is observed in everyday life when copper metal surfaces tarnish after exposure to air containing sulfur compounds.
Copper is slowly dissolved in oxygen-containing ammonia solutions because ammonia forms water-soluble complexes with copper. Copper reacts with a combination of oxygen and hydrochloric acid to form a series of copper chlorides. Copper(II) chloride (green/blue) when boiled with copper metal undergoes a symproportionation reaction to form white copper(I) chloride.
In pure water, or acidic or alkali conditions. Note that copper in neutral water is more noble than hydrogen. In water containing sulfide
In 10 M ammonia solution In a chloride solution Germicidal effect Copper is germicidal, via the oligodynamic effect. For example, brass doorknobs disinfect themselves of many bacteria within a period of eight hours. Antimicrobial properties of copper are effective against MRSA, Escherichia coli and other pathogens. In colder temperature, longer time is required to kill bacteria.
Copper has the intrinsic ability to kill a variety of potentially harmful pathogens. On February 29, 2008, the United States EPA registered 275 alloys, containing greater than 65% nominal copper content, as antimicrobial materials . Registered alloys include pure copper, an assortment of brasses and bronzes, and additional alloys. EPA-sanctioned tests using Good Laboratory Practices were conducted in order to obtain several antimicrobial claims valid against: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Enterobacter aerogenes, Escherichia coli O157: H7 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The EPA registration allows the manufacturers of these copper alloys to legally make public health claims as to the health effects of these materials. Several of the aforementioned bacteria are responsible for a large portion of the nearly two million hospital-acquired infections contracted each year in the United States . Frequently touched surfaces in hospitals and public facilities harbor bacteria and increase the risk for contracting infections. Covering touch surfaces with copper alloys can help reduce microbial contamination associated with hospital-acquired infections on these surfaces.
Isotopes Main article: Isotopes of copper Copper has 29 distinct isotopes ranging in atomic mass from 52 to 80. Two of these, 63Cu and 65Cu, are stable and occur naturally, with 63Cu comprising approximately 69% of naturally occurring copper.
The other 27 isotopes are radioactive and do not occur naturally. The most stable of these is 67Cu with a half-life of 61.83 hours. The least stable is 54Cu with a half-life of approximately 75 ns. Unstable copper isotopes with atomic masses below 63 tend to undergo ß+ decay, while isotopes with atomic masses above 65 tend to undergo ß- decay. 64Cu decays by both ß+ and ß-.
68Cu, 69Cu, 71Cu, 72Cu, and 76Cu each have one metastable isomer. 70Cu has two isomers, making a total of 7 distinct isomers. The most stable of these is 68mCu with a half-life of 3.75 minutes. The least stable is 69mCu with a half-life of 360 ns.
Production Chuquicamata (Chile). The largest open pit copper mines in the world. Copper output in 2005 Output Most copper ore is mined or extracted as copper sulfides from large open pit mines in porphyry copper deposits that contain 0.4 to 1.0% copper. Examples include: Chuquicamata in Chile and El Chino Mine in New Mexico. The average abundance of copper found within crustal rocks is approximately 68 ppm by mass, and 22 ppm by atoms. In 2005, Chile was the top mine producer of copper with at least one-third world share followed by the USA, Indonesia and Peru, reports the British Geological Survey.
Reserves World production trend Copper Prices 2003 - 2008 in USD Copper has been in use at least 10,000 years, but more than 95% of all copper ever mined and smelted has been extracted since 1900. As with many natural resources, total amount of copper on Earth is vast (around 1014 tons just in the top kilometer of Earth's crust, or about 5 million years worth at the current rate of extraction). However, only a tiny fraction of these reserves is economically viable, given present-day prices and technologies. Various estimates of existing copper reserves available for mining vary from 25 years to 60 years, depending on core assumptions such as the growth rate.
Copper is a finite resource, but, unlike oil, it is not destroyed and therefore can be recycled. Recycling is a major source of copper in the modern world.
As consumption in India and China increases, copper supplies are becoming scarcer. The copper price has quintupled from the 60-year low in 1999, rising from US$0.60 per pound (US$1.32/kg) in June 1999 to US$3.75 per pound (US$8.27/kg) in May 2006, where it dropped to US$2.40 per pound (US$5.29/kg) in February 2007 then rebounded to US$3.50 per pound (US$7.71/kg = £3.89 = €5.00) in April 2007. By early February 2009, however, weakening global demand and a steep fall in commodity prices since the previous year's highs had left copper prices at US$1.51 per pound.
The Intergovernmental Council of Copper Exporting Countries (CIPEC), defunct since 1992, once tried to play a similar role for copper as OPEC does for oil, but never achieved the same influence, not least because the second-largest producer, the United States, was never a member. Formed in 1967, its principal members were Chile, Peru, Zaire, and Zambia.
Methods Further information: Copper extraction techniques Applications Copper is malleable and ductile and is a good conductor of both heat and electricity.
The purity of copper is expressed as 4N for 99.99% pure or 7N for 99.99999% pure. The numeral gives the number of nines after the decimal point when expressed as a decimal (e.g. 4N means 0.9999, or 99.99%). Copper is often too soft for its applications, so it is incorporated in numerous alloys. For example, brass is a copper-zinc alloy, and bronze is a copper-tin alloy.
It is used extensively, in products such as: Piping Assorted copper fittings. including water supply. used extensively in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment because of its ease of fabrication and soldering, as well as high conductivity to heat.
Electrical applications Copper wire. Oxygen-free copper. Electromagnets. Printed circuit boards. Lead free solder, alloyed with tin. Electrical machines, especially electromagnetic motors, generators and transformers.
Electrical relays, electrical busbars and electrical switches. Vacuum tubes, cathode ray tubes, and the magnetrons in microwave ovens. Wave guides for microwave radiation. Integrated circuits, increasingly replacing aluminium because of its superior electrical conductivity.
As a material in the manufacture of computer heat sinks, as a result of its superior heat dissipation capacity to aluminium. Copper roof on the Minneapolis City Hall, coated with patina Architecture and industry Copper has been used as water-proof roofing material since ancient times, giving many old buildings their greenish roofs and domes. Initially copper oxide forms, replaced by cuprous and cupric sulfide, and finally by copper carbonate. The final carbonate patina (termed verdigris) is highly resistant to corrosion.
Statuary: The Statue of Liberty, for example, contains 179,220 pounds (81.3 tonnes) of copper. Alloyed with nickel, e.g. cupronickel and Monel, used as corrosive resistant materials in shipbuilding.
Watt's steam engine firebox due to superior heat dissipation. Copper compounds in liquid form are used as a wood preservative, particularly in treating original portion of structures during restoration of damage due to dry rot.
Copper wires may be placed over non-conductive roofing materials to discourage the growth of moss. (Zinc may also be used for this purpose.)
Old copper utensils in a Jerusalem restaurant Copper is used to prevent a building being directly struck by lightning. High above the roof, copper spikes (lightning rods) are connected to a very thick copper cable which leads to a large metal plate underneath the ground. The voltage is dispersed throughout the ground harmlessly, instead of destroying the main structure.
Household products Copper plumbing fittings and compression tubes. Doorknobs and other fixtures in houses. Roofing, guttering, and rainspouts on buildings.
In cookware, such as frying pans. Some older flatware: (knives, forks, spoons) contains some copper if made from Electroplated Nickel silver (EPNS).
Sterling silver, if it is to be used in dinnerware, must contain a few percent copper. Copper water heating cylinders Copper Range Hoods Copper Bath Tubs
Copper Counters Copper Sinks Copper slug tape Coinage As a component of coins, often as cupronickel alloy, or some form of brass or bronze.
Coins in the following countries all contain copper: European Union (Euro), United States, United Kingdom (sterling), Australia and New Zealand.
U.S. Nickels are 75.0% copper by weight and only 25.0% nickel. Biomedical applications As a biostatic surface in hospitals, and to line parts of ships to protect against barnacles and mussels, originally used pure, but superseded by Muntz metal. Bacteria will not grow on a copper surface because it is biostatic. Copper doorknobs are used by hospitals to reduce the transfer of disease, and Legionnaires' disease is suppressed by copper tubing in air-conditioning systems.
Copper(II) sulfate is used as a fungicide and as algae control in domestic lakes and ponds. It is used in gardening powders and sprays to kill mildew.
Copper-62-PTSM, a complex containing radioactive copper-62, is used as a positron emission tomography radiotracer for heart blood flow measurements.
Copper-64 can be used as a positron emission tomography radiotracer for medical imaging. When complexed with a chelate it can be used to treat cancer through radiation therapy.
Chemical applications Compounds, such as Fehling's solution, have applications in chemistry. As a component in ceramic glazes, and to color glass.
Other Musical instruments, especially brass instruments and timpani. Class D fire extinguisher, used in powder form to extinguish lithium fires by covering the burning metal and performing similar to a heat sink.
Textile fibers to create antimicrobial protective fabrics. Weaponry: Small arms ammunition commonly uses copper as a jacketing material around the bullet core.
Copper is also commonly used as a case material, in the form of brass. Copper is used as a liner in Shaped charge armour-piercing warheads and demolition explosives (blade).
Copper is frequently used in electroplating, usually as a base for other metals such as Nickel. Alloys See also: List of copper alloys Numerous copper alloys exist, many with important historical and contemporary uses. Speculum metal and bronze are alloys of copper and tin. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Monel metal, also called cupronickel, is an alloy of copper and nickel. While the metal "bronze" usually refers to copper-tin alloys, it also is a generic term for any alloy of copper, such as aluminium bronze, silicon bronze, and manganese bronze. Copper is one of the most important constituents of carat silver and gold alloys and carat solders used in the jewelry industry, modifying the color, hardness and melting point of the resulting alloys.
Compounds Copper(I) oxide powder See also: Category:Copper compounds Common oxidation states of copper include the less stable copper(I) state, Cu+; and the more stable copper(II) state, Cu2+, which forms blue or blue-green salts and solutions. Under unusual conditions, a 3+ state and even an extremely rare 4+ state can be obtained. Using old nomenclature for the naming of salts, copper(I) is called cuprous, and copper(II) is cupric. In oxidation copper is mildly basic.
Copper(II) carbonate is green from which arises the unique appearance of copper-clad roofs or domes on some buildings. Copper(II) sulfate forms a blue crystalline pentahydrate which is perhaps the most familiar copper compound in the laboratory. It is used as a fungicide, known as Bordeaux mixture.
There are two stable copper oxides, copper(II) oxide (CuO) and copper(I) oxide (Cu2O). Copper oxides are used to make yttrium barium copper oxide (YBa2Cu3O7-d) or YBCO which forms the basis of many unconventional superconductors.
Copper(I) compounds: copper(I) chloride, copper(I) bromide, copper(I) iodide, copper(I) oxide. Copper(II) compounds: copper(II) acetate, copper(II) carbonate, copper(II) chloride, copper(II) hydroxide, copper(II) nitrate, copper(II) oxide, copper(II) sulfate, copper(II) sulfide, copper(II) tetrafluoroborate, copper(II) triflate.
Copper(III) compounds, rare: potassium hexafluorocuprate (K3CuF6) Copper(IV) compounds, extremely rare: caesium hexafluorocuprate (Cs2CuF6)
See also: Category:Copper compounds Tests for copper(II) ion Adding an aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide will form a blue precipitate of copper(II) hydroxide. The ionic equation is:
Cu2+ (aq) + 2 OH- (aq) ? Cu(OH)2 (s) The full equation shows that the reaction is due to hydroxide ions deprotonating the hexaaquacopper(II) complex:
[Cu(H2O)6]2+ (aq) + 2 OH-(aq) ? Cu(H2O)4(OH)2 (s) + 2 H2O (l) Adding ammonium hydroxide (aqueous ammonia) causes the same precipitate to form. Upon adding excess ammonia, the precipitate dissolves, forming a deep blue ammonia complex, tetraamminecopper(II):
Cu(H2O)4(OH)2 (s) + 4 NH3 (aq) ? [Cu(H2O)2(NH3)4]2+ (aq) + 2 H2O (l) + 2 OH- (aq) A more delicate test than ammonia is potassium ferrocyanide, which gives a brown precipitate with copper salts.
Biological role Rich sources of copper include oysters, beef or lamb liver, Brazil nuts, blackstrap molasses, cocoa, and black pepper. Good sources include lobster, nuts and sunflower seeds, green olives, avocados and wheat bran.
Copper is essential in all plants and animals. The human body normally contains copper at a level of about 1.4 to 2.1 mg for each kg of body weight. Copper is distributed widely in the body and occurs in liver, muscle and bone. Copper is transported in the bloodstream on a plasma protein called ceruloplasmin. When copper is first absorbed in the gut it is transported to the liver bound to albumin. Copper metabolism and excretion is controlled delivery of copper to the liver by ceruloplasmin, where it is excreted in bile.
Copper is found in a variety of enzymes, including the copper centers of cytochrome c oxidase and the enzyme superoxide dismutase (containing copper and zinc). In addition to its enzymatic roles, copper is used for biological electron transport. The blue copper proteins that participate in electron transport include azurin and plastocyanin. The name "blue copper" comes from their intense blue color arising from a ligand-to-metal charge transfer (LMCT) absorption band around 600 nm.
Most molluscs and some arthropods such as the horseshoe crab use the copper-containing pigment hemocyanin rather than iron-containing hemoglobin for oxygen transport, so their blood is blue when oxygenated rather than red.
It is believed that zinc and copper compete for absorption in the digestive tract so that a diet that is excessive in one of these minerals may result in a deficiency in the other. The RDA for copper in normal healthy adults is 0.9 mg/day. On the other hand, professional research on the subject recommends 3.0 mg/day. Because of its role in facilitating iron uptake, copper deficiency can often produce anemia-like symptoms. In humans, the symptoms of Wilson's disease are caused by an accumulation of copper in body tissues.
Chronic copper depletion leads to abnormalities in metabolism of fats, high triglycerides, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fatty liver disease and poor melanin and dopamine synthesis causing depression and sunburn. Food rich in copper should be eaten away from any milk or egg proteins as they block absorption.
Reference ranges for blood tests, comparing blood content of copper (shown in gray) with other constituents. Toxicity Main article: copper toxicity Toxicity can occur from eating acidic food that has been cooked with copper cookware. Cirrhosis of the liver in children (Indian Childhood Cirrhosis) has been linked to boiling milk in copper cookware. The Merck Manual states that recent studies suggest that a genetic defect is associated with this cirrhosis. Since copper is actively excreted by the normal body, chronic copper toxicosis in humans without a genetic defect in copper handling has not been demonstrated. However, large amounts (gram quantities) of copper salts taken in suicide attempts have produced acute copper toxicity in normal humans. Equivalent amounts of copper salts (30 mg/kg) are toxic in animals
Miscellaneous hazards The metal, when powdered, is a fire hazard. At concentrations higher than 1 mg/L, copper can stain clothes and items washed in water.
Recycling Copper is 100% recyclable without any loss of quality whether in a raw state or contained in a manufactured product. Copper is the third most recycled metal after iron and aluminium. It is estimated that 80% of the copper ever mined is still in use today. Common grades of copper for recycling are:
Bare bright - very clean and pure copper wire usually 12 AWG or larger that has insulation and any tarnish removed #1 copper - pipe with a new appearance and free of any foreign material #2 copper - pipe with corrosion or foreign material and small gauge wire with no insulation
Insulated wire is also commonly recycled once the insulation is stripped off. High purity copper scrap is directly melted in a furnace and the molten copper is deoxidized and cast into billets, or ingots. Lower purity scrap is usually refined to attain the desired purity level by an electroplating process in which the copper scrap is dissolved into a bath of sulfuric acid and then electroplated out of the solution.
Water is a ubiquitous chemical substance that is composed of hydrogen and oxygen and is essential for all known forms of life. In typical usage, water refers only to its liquid form or state, but the substance also has a solid state, ice, and a gaseous state, water vapor or steam. Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface . On Earth, it is found mostly in oceans and other large water bodies, with 1.6% of water below ground in aquifers and 0.001% in the air as vapor, clouds (formed of solid and liquid water particles suspended in air), and precipitation. Oceans hold 97% of surface water, glaciers and polar ice caps 2.4%, and other land surface water such as rivers, lakes and ponds 0.6%. A very small amount of the Earth's water is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products.
Water on Earth moves continually through a cycle of evaporation or transpiration (evapotranspiration), precipitation, and runoff, usually reaching the sea. Over land, evaporation and transpiration contribute to the precipitation over land.
Clean, fresh drinking water is essential to human and other lifeforms. Access to safe drinking water has improved steadily and substantially over the last decades in almost every part of the world. There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and GDP per capita. However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability. A recent report (November 2009) suggests that by 2030, in some developing regions of the world, water demand will exceed supply by 50%. Water plays an important role in the world economy, as it functions as a solvent for a wide variety of chemical substances and facilitates industrial cooling and transportation. Approximately 70% of freshwater is consumed by agriculture.
Capillary action of water compared to mercury Water is the chemical substance with chemical formula H2O: one molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to a single oxygen atom.
Water appears in nature in all three common states of matter and may take many different forms on Earth: water vapor and clouds in the sky; seawater and icebergs in the polar oceans; glaciers and rivers in the mountains; and the liquid in aquifers in the ground.
The major chemical and physical properties of water are: Water is a tasteless, odorless liquid at standard temperature and pressure. The color of water and ice is, intrinsically, a very light blue hue, although water appears colorless in small quantities. Ice also appears colorless, and water vapor is essentially invisible as a gas.
Water is transparent, and thus aquatic plants can live within the water because sunlight can reach them. Only strong UV light is slightly absorbed.
Since the water molecule is not linear and the oxygen atom has a higher electronegativity than hydrogen atoms, it carries a slight negative charge, whereas the hydrogen atoms are slightly positive. As a result, water is a polar molecule with an electrical dipole moment. The net interactions between the dipoles on each molecule cause an effective skin effect at the interface of water with other substances, or air at the surface, the latter given rise to water's high surface tension. This dipolar nature contributes to water molecules' tendency to form hydrogen bonds which cause water's many special properties. The polar nature also favors adhesion to other materials.
Each hydrogen nucleus is bound to the central oxygen atom by a pair of electrons that are shared between them; chemists call this shared electron pair a covalent chemical bond. In H2O, only two of the six outer-shell electrons of oxygen are used for this purpose, leaving four electrons which are organized into two non-bonding pairs. The four electron pairs surrounding the oxygen tend to arrange themselves as far from each other as possible in order to minimize repulsions between these clouds of negative charge. This would ordinarily result in a tetrahedral geometry in which the angle between electron pairs (and therefore the H-O-H bond angle) is 109.5°. However, because the two non-bonding pairs remain closer to the oxygen atom, these exert a stronger repulsion against the two covalent bonding pairs, effectively pushing the two hydrogen atoms closer together. The result is a distorted tetrahedral arrangement in which the H-O-H angle is 104.5°.
A result of interplay of these properties, Capillary action refers to the tendency of water to move up a narrow tube against the force of gravity. This property is relied upon by all vascular plants, such as trees.
Water is a good solvent and is often referred to as the universal solvent. Substances that dissolve in water, e.g., salts, sugars, acids, alkalis, and some gases – especially oxygen, carbon dioxide (carbonation) are known as hydrophilic (water-loving) substances, while those that do not mix well with water (e.g., fats and oils), are known as hydrophobic (water-fearing) substances.
All the major components in cells (proteins, DNA and polysaccharides) are also dissolved in water.
Pure water has a low electrical conductivity, but this increases significantly with the dissolution of a small amount of ionic material such as sodium chloride.
The boiling point of water (and all other liquids) is dependent on the barometric pressure. For example, on the top of Mt. Everest water boils at about 68 °C (154 °F), compared to 100 °C (212 °F) at sea level. Conversely, water deep in the ocean near geothermal vents can reach temperatures of hundreds of degrees and remain liquid.
Water has the second highest specific heat capacity of any known substance, after ammonia, as well as a high heat of vaporization (40.65 kJ·mol-1), both of which are a result of the extensive hydrogen bonding between its molecules. These two unusual properties allow water to moderate Earth's climate by buffering large fluctuations in temperature.
The maximum density of water occurs at 3.98 °C (39.16 °F). Water becomes even less dense upon freezing, expanding 9%. This results in an unusual phenomenon: water's solid form, ice, floats upon water, allowing organisms to survive inside a partially-frozen water body because the water on the bottom has a temperature of around 4 °C (39 °F).
ADR label for transporting goods dangerously reactive with water
Water is miscible with many liquids, such as ethanol, in all proportions, forming a single homogeneous liquid. On the other hand, water and most oils are immiscible usually forming layers according to increasing density from the top. As a gas, water vapor is completely miscible with air.
Water forms an azeotrope with many other solvents.
Water can be split by electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen.
As an oxide of hydrogen, water is formed when hydrogen or hydrogen-containing compounds burn or react with oxygen or oxygen-containing compounds. Water is not a fuel, it is an end-product of the combustion of hydrogen. The energy required to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis or any other means is greater than the energy released when the hydrogen and oxygen recombine.
Elements which are more electropositive than hydrogen such as lithium, sodium, calcium, potassium and caesium displace hydrogen from water, forming hydroxides. Being a flammable gas, the hydrogen given off is dangerous and the reaction of water with the more electropositive of these elements may be violently explosive.
Taste and odor
Water can dissolve many different substances, giving it varying tastes and odors. Humans and other animals have developed senses which (more or less) enable them to evaluate the potability of water by avoiding water that is too salty or putrid. Humans also tend to prefer cold water to lukewarm water since cold water is likely to contain fewer microbes. The taste advertised in spring water or mineral water derives from the minerals dissolved in it: Pure H2O is tasteless and odorless. The advertised purity of spring and mineral water refers to absence of toxins, pollutants and microbes.
Distribution of water in nature
Water in the universe
Much of the universe's water may be produced as a byproduct of star formation. When stars are born, their birth is accompanied by a strong outward wind of gas and dust. When this outflow of material eventually impacts the surrounding gas, the shock waves that are created compress and heat the gas. The water observed is quickly produced in this warm dense gas.
Water has been detected in interstellar clouds within our galaxy, the Milky Way. Water probably exists in abundance in other galaxies, too, because its components, hydrogen and oxygen, are among the most abundant elements in the universe. Interstellar clouds eventually condense into solar nebulae and solar systems such as ours.
Water vapor is present in:
Atmosphere of Mercury: 3.4%, and large amounts of water in Mercury's exosphere
Atmosphere of Venus: 0.002%
Earth's atmosphere: ~0.40% over full atmosphere, typically 1%-4% at surface
Atmosphere of Mars: 0.03%
Atmosphere of Jupiter: 0.0004%
Atmosphere of Saturn - in ices only
Enceladus (moon of Saturn): 91%
exoplanets known as HD 189733 b and HD 209458 b.
Liquid water is present on:
Earth - 71% of surface
Moon - small amounts of water have been found (in 2008) in the inside of volcanic pearls brought from Moon to Earth by the Apollo 15 crew in 1971. NASA reported the detection of water molecules by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper aboard the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft in September 2009.
Strong evidence suggests that liquid water is present just under the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus and on Jupiter's moon Europa where it may exist as a 100 km deep ocean covering the whole moon which would amount to more water than is in all the Earth's oceans.
Water ice is present on:
Earth - mainly as ice sheets
polar ice caps on Mars
Comets and comet source populations (Kuiper belt and Oort cloud objects).
Water ice may be present on Ceres and Tethys. Water and other volatiles probably comprise much of the internal structures of Uranus and Neptune.
Water and habitable zone
The Solar System along center row range of possible habitable zones of varying size stars.
The existence of liquid water, and to a lesser extent its gaseous and solid forms, on Earth are vital to the existence of life on Earth as we know it. The Earth is located in the habitable zone of the solar system; if it were slightly closer to or further from the Sun (about 5%, or about 8 million kilometers), the conditions which allow the three forms to be present simultaneously would be far less likely to exist.
Earth's gravity allows it to hold an atmosphere. Water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere provide a temperature buffer (greenhouse effect) which helps maintain a relatively steady surface temperature. If Earth were smaller, a thinner atmosphere would allow temperature extremes, thus preventing the accumulation of water except in polar ice caps (as on Mars).
The surface temperature of Earth has been relatively constant through geologic time despite varying levels of incoming solar radiation (insolation), indicating that a dynamic process governs Earth's temperature via a combination of greenhouse gases and surface or atmospheric albedo. This proposal is known as the Gaia hypothesis.
The state of water on a planet depends on ambient pressure, which is determined by the planet's gravity. If a planet is sufficiently massive, the water on it may be solid even at high temperatures, because of the high pressure caused by gravity.
There are various theories about origin of water on Earth.
Water on Earth
Main articles: Hydrology and Water distribution on Earth
A graphical distribution of the locations of water on Earth.
Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface; the oceans contain 97.2% of the Earth's water. The Antarctic ice sheet, which contains 90% of all fresh water on Earth, is visible at the bottom. Condensed atmospheric water can be seen as clouds, contributing to the Earth's albedo.
Hydrology is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water throughout the Earth. The study of the distribution of water is hydrography. The study of the distribution and movement of groundwater is hydrogeology, of glaciers is glaciology, of inland waters is limnology and distribution of oceans is oceanography. Ecological processes with hydrology are in focus of ecohydrology.
The collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet is called the hydrosphere. Earth's approximate water volume (the total water supply of the world) is 1,360,000,000 km3 (326,000,000 mi3).
Groundwater and fresh water are useful or potentially useful to humans as water resources.
Liquid water is found in bodies of water, such as an ocean, sea, lake, river, stream, canal, pond, or puddle. The majority of water on Earth is sea water. Water is also present in the atmosphere in solid, liquid, and vapor states. It also exists as groundwater in aquifers.
Water is important in many geological processes. Groundwater is ubiquitous in rocks, and the pressure of this groundwater affects patterns of faulting. Water in the mantle is responsible for the melt that produces volcanoes at subduction zones. On the surface of the Earth, water is important in both chemical and physical weathering processes. Water and, to a lesser but still significant extent, ice, are also responsible for a large amount of sediment transport that occurs on the surface of the earth. Deposition of transported sediment forms many types of sedimentary rocks, which make up the geologic record of Earth history.
The water cycle (known scientifically as the hydrologic cycle) refers to the continuous exchange of water within the hydrosphere, between the atmosphere, soil water, surface water, groundwater, and plants.
Water moves perpetually through each of these regions in the water cycle consisting of following transfer processes:
evaporation from oceans and other water bodies into the air and transpiration from land plants and animals into air.
precipitation, from water vapor condensing from the air and falling to earth or ocean.
runoff from the land usually reaching the sea.
Most water vapor over the oceans returns to the oceans, but winds carry water vapor over land at the same rate as runoff into the sea, about 36 Tt per year. Over land, evaporation and transpiration contribute another 71 Tt per year. Precipitation, at a rate of 107 Tt per year over land, has several forms: most commonly rain, snow, and hail, with some contribution from fog and dew. Condensed water in the air may also refract sunlight to produce rainbows.
Water runoff often collects over watersheds flowing into rivers. A mathematical model used to simulate river or stream flow and calculate water quality parameters is hydrological transport model. Some of water is diverted to irrigation for agriculture. Rivers and seas offer opportunity for travel and commerce. Through erosion, runoff shapes the environment creating river valleys and deltas which provide rich soil and level ground for the establishment of population centers. A flood occurs when an area of land, usually low-lying, is covered with water. It is when a river overflows its banks or flood from the sea. A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. This occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation.
Some runoff water is trapped for periods of time, for example in lakes. At high altitude, during winter, and in the far north and south, snow collects in ice caps, snow pack and glaciers. Water also infiltrates the ground and goes into aquifers. This groundwater later flows back to the surface in springs, or more spectacularly in hot springs and geysers. Groundwater is also extracted artificially in wells. This water storage is important, since clean, fresh water is essential to human and other land-based life. In many parts of the world, it is in short supply.
Main article: Seawater
Sea water contains about 3.5% salt on average, plus smaller amounts of other substances. The physical properties of sea water differ from fresh water in some important respects. It freezes at a lower temperature (about -1.9C) and its density increases with decreasing temperature to the freezing point, instead of reaching maximum density at a temperature above freezing. The salinity of water in major seas varies from about 0.7% in the Baltic Sea to 4.0% in the Red Sea.
Main article: Tide
Tides are the cyclic rising and falling of Earth's ocean surface caused by the tidal forces of the Moon and the Sun acting on the oceans. Tides cause changes in the depth of the marine and estuarine water bodies and produce oscillating currents known as tidal streams. The changing tide produced at a given location is the result of the changing positions of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth coupled with the effects of Earth rotation and the local bathymetry. The strip of seashore that is submerged at high tide and exposed at low tide, the intertidal zone, is an important ecological product of ocean tides.
Overview of photosynthesis and respiration. Water (at right), together with carbon dioxide (CO2), form oxygen and organic compounds (at left), which can be respired to water and (CO2).
From a biological standpoint, water has many distinct properties that are critical for the proliferation of life that set it apart from other substances. It carries out this role by allowing organic compounds to react in ways that ultimately allow replication. All known forms of life depend on water. Water is vital both as a solvent in which many of the body's solutes dissolve and as an essential part of many metabolic processes within the body. Metabolism is the sum total of anabolism and catabolism. In anabolism, water is removed from molecules (through energy requiring enzymatic chemical reactions) in order to grow larger molecules (e.g. starches, triglycerides and proteins for storage of fuels and information). In catabolism, water is used to break bonds in order to generate smaller molecules (e.g. glucose, fatty acids and amino acids to be used for fuels for energy use or other purposes). Water is thus essential and central to these metabolic processes. Therefore, without water, these metabolic processes would cease to exist, leaving us to muse about what processes would be in its place, such as gas absorption, dust collection, etc.
Water is also central to photosynthesis and respiration. Photosynthetic cells use the sun's energy to split off water's hydrogen from oxygen. Hydrogen is combined with CO2 (absorbed from air or water) to form glucose and release oxygen. All living cells use such fuels and oxidize the hydrogen and carbon to capture the sun's energy and reform water and CO2 in the process (cellular respiration).
Water is also central to acid-base neutrality and enzyme function. An acid, a hydrogen ion (H+, that is, a proton) donor, can be neutralized by a base, a proton acceptor such as hydroxide ion (OH-) to form water. Water is considered to be neutral, with a pH (the negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration) of 7. Acids have pH values less than 7 while bases have values greater than 7.
Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef
Stomach acid (HCl) is useful to digestion. However, its corrosive effect on the esophagus during reflux can temporarily be neutralized by ingestion of a base such as aluminum hydroxide to produce the neutral molecules water and the salt aluminum chloride. Human biochemistry that involves enzymes usually performs optimally around a biologically neutral pH of 7.4.
For example, a cell of Escherichia coli contains 70% of water, a human body 60–70%, plant body up to 90% and the body of an adult jellyfish is made up of 94–98% water.
Aquatic life forms
Main articles: Hydrobiology and Aquatic plant
Some marine diatoms - a key phytoplankton group
Earth's waters are filled with life. The earliest life forms appeared in water; nearly all fish live exclusively in water, and there are many types of marine mammals, such as dolphins and whales that also live in the water. Some kinds of animals, such as amphibians, spend portions of their lives in water and portions on land. Plants such as kelp and algae grow in the water and are the basis for some underwater ecosystems. Plankton is generally the foundation of the ocean food chain.
Aquatic animals must obtain oxygen to survive, and they do so in various ways. Fish have gills instead of lungs, although some species of fish, such as the lungfish, have both. Marine mammals, such as dolphins, whales, otters, and seals need to surface periodically to breathe air. Smaller life forms are able to absorb oxygen through their skin.
Effects on human civilization
Civilization has historically flourished around rivers and major waterways; Mesopotamia, the so-called cradle of civilization, was situated between the major rivers Tigris and Euphrates; the ancient society of the Egyptians depended entirely upon the Nile. Large metropolises like Rotterdam, London, Montreal, Paris, New York City, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Tokyo, Chicago, and Hong Kong owe their success in part to their easy accessibility via water and the resultant expansion of trade. Islands with safe water ports, like Singapore, have flourished for the same reason. In places such as North Africa and the Middle East, where water is more scarce, access to clean drinking water was and is a major factor in human development.
Health and pollution
Environmental Science Program, Iowa State University student sampling water.
Water fit for human consumption is called drinking water or potable water. Water that is not potable can be made potable by filtration or distillation (heating it until it becomes water vapor, and then capturing the vapor without any of the impurities it leaves behind), or by other methods (chemical or heat treatment that kills bacteria). Sometimes the term safe water is applied to potable water of a lower quality threshold (i.e., it is used effectively for nutrition in humans that have weak access to water cleaning processes, and does more good than harm). Water that is not fit for drinking but is not harmful for humans when used for swimming or bathing is called by various names other than potable or drinking water, and is sometimes called safe water, or "safe for bathing". Chlorine is a skin and mucous membrane irritant that is used to make water safe for bathing or drinking. Its use is highly technical and is usually monitored by government regulations (typically 1 part per million (ppm) for drinking water, and 1–2 ppm of chlorine not yet reacted with impurities for bathing water).
This natural resource is becoming scarcer in certain places, and its availability is a major social and economic concern. Currently, about a billion people around the world routinely drink unhealthy water. Most countries accepted the goal of halving by 2015 the number of people worldwide who do not have access to safe water and sanitation during the 2003 G8 Evian summit. Even if this difficult goal is met, it will still leave more than an estimated half a billion people without access to safe drinking water and over a billion without access to adequate sanitation. Poor water quality and bad sanitation are deadly; some five million deaths a year are caused by polluted drinking water. The World Health Organization estimates that safe water could prevent 1.4 million child deaths from diarrhea each year. Water, however, is not a finite resource, but rather re-circulated as potable water in precipitation in quantities many degrees of magnitude higher than human consumption. Therefore, it is the relatively small quantity of water in reserve in the earth (about 1% of our drinking water supply, which is replenished in aquifers around every 1 to 10 years), that is a non-renewable resource, and it is, rather, the distribution of potable and irrigation water which is scarce, rather than the actual amount of it that exists on the earth. Water-poor countries use importation of goods as the primary method of importing water (to leave enough for local human consumption), since the manufacturing process uses around 10 to 100 times products' masses in water.
In the developing world, 90% of all wastewater still goes untreated into local rivers and streams. Some 50 countries, with roughly a third of the world’s population, also suffer from medium or high water stress, and 17 of these extract more water annually than is recharged through their natural water cycles. The strain not only affects surface freshwater bodies like rivers and lakes, but it also degrades groundwater resources.
Irrigation of field crops
The most important use of water in agriculture is for irrigation, which is a key component to produce enough food. Irrigation takes up to 90% of water withdrawn in some developing countries and significant proportions in more economically developed countries (United States, 30% of freshwater usage is for irrigation).
Water as a scientific standard
On 7 April 1795, the gram was defined in France to be equal to "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to a cube of one hundredth of a meter, and to the temperature of the melting ice." For practical purposes though, a metallic reference standard was required, one thousand times more massive, the kilogram. Work was therefore commissioned to determine precisely the mass of one liter of water. In spite of the fact that the decreed definition of the gram specified water at 0 °C—a highly reproducible temperature—the scientists chose to redefine the standard and to perform their measurements at the temperature of highest water density, which was measured at the time as 4 °C (39 °F).
The Kelvin temperature scale of the SI system is based on the triple point of water, defined as exactly 273.16 K or 0.01 °C. The scale is a more accurate development of the Celsius temperature scale, which was originally defined according the boiling point (set to 100 °C) and melting point (set to 0 °C) of water.
Natural water consists mainly of the isotopes hydrogen-1 and oxygen-16, but there is also small quantity of heavier isotopes such as hydrogen-2 (deuterium). The amount of deuterium oxides or heavy water is very small, but it still affects the properties of water. Water from rivers and lakes tends to contain less deuterium than seawater. Therefore, standard water is defined in the Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water specification.
Main article: Drinking water
A young girl drinking bottled water
Water quality - percent of population using improved water sources by country
The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. To function properly, the body requires between one and seven liters of water per day to avoid dehydration; the precise amount depends on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors. Most of this is ingested through foods or beverages other than drinking straight water. It is not clear how much water intake is needed by healthy people, though most advocates agree that 6–7 glasses of water (approximately 2 liters) daily is the minimum to maintain proper hydration. Medical literature favors a lower consumption, typically 1 liter of water for an average male, excluding extra requirements due to fluid loss from exercise or warm weather. For those who have healthy kidneys, it is rather difficult to drink too much water, but (especially in warm humid weather and while exercising) it is dangerous to drink too little. People can drink far more water than necessary while exercising, however, putting them at risk of water intoxication (hyperhydration), which can be fatal. The "fact" that a person should consume eight glasses of water per day cannot be traced back to a scientific source. There are other myths such as the effect of water on weight loss and constipation that have been dispelled.
Hazard symbol for No drinking water
An original recommendation for water intake in 1945 by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council read: "An ordinary standard for diverse persons is 1 milliliter for each calorie of food. Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods." The latest dietary reference intake report by the United States National Research Council in general recommended (including food sources): 2.7 liters of water total for women and 3.7 liters for men. Specifically, pregnant and breastfeeding women need additional fluids to stay hydrated. According to the Institute of Medicine—who recommend that, on average, women consume 2.2 liters and men 3.0 liters—this is recommended to be 2.4 liters (10 cups) for pregnant women and 3 liters (12 cups) for breastfeeding women since an especially large amount of fluid is lost during nursing. Also noted is that normally, about 20% of water intake comes from food, while the rest comes from drinking water and beverages (caffeinated included). Water is excreted from the body in multiple forms; through urine and feces, through sweating, and by exhalation of water vapor in the breath. With physical exertion and heat exposure, water loss will increase and daily fluid needs may increase as well.
Humans require water that does not contain too many impurities. Common impurities include metal salts and oxides (including copper, iron, calcium and lead) and/or harmful bacteria, such as Vibrio. Some solutes are acceptable and even desirable for taste enhancement and to provide needed electrolytes.
The single largest freshwater resource suitable for drinking is Lake Baikal in Siberia, which has a very low salt and calcium content and is therefore very clean.
The ability of water to make solutions and emulsions is used for washing. Many industrial processes rely on reactions using chemicals dissolved in water, suspension of solids in water slurries or using water to dissolve and extract substances.
Water is widely used in chemical reactions as a solvent or reactant and less commonly as a solute or catalyst. In inorganic reactions, water is a common solvent, dissolving many ionic compounds. In organic reactions, it is not usually used as a reaction solvent, because it does not dissolve the reactants well and is amphoteric (acidic and basic) and nucleophilic. Nevertheless, these properties are sometimes desirable. Also, acceleration of Diels-Alder reactions by water has been observed. Supercritical water has recently been a topic of research. Oxygen-saturated supercritical water combusts organic pollutants efficiently.
As a heat transfer fluid
Ice used for cooling.
Water and steam are used as heat transfer fluids in diverse heat exchange systems, due to its availability and high heat capacity, both as a coolant and for heating. Cool water may even be naturally available from a lake or the sea. Condensing steam is a particularly efficient heating fluid because of the large heat of vaporization. A disadvantage is that water and steam are somewhat corrosive. In almost all electric power stations, water is the coolant, which vaporizes and drives steam turbines to drive generators. In the U.S., cooling power plants is the largest use of water.
In the nuclear industry, water can also be used as a neutron moderator. In a pressurized water reactor, water is both a coolant and a moderator. This provides a passive safety measure, as removing the water from the reactor also slows the nuclear reaction down.
Water is used for fighting wildfires.
Water has a high heat of vaporization and is relatively inert, which makes it a good fire extinguishing fluid. The evaporation of water carries heat away from the fire. However, water cannot be used to fight fires of electric equipment, because impure water is electrically conductive, or of oils and organic solvents, because they float on water and the explosive boiling of water tends to spread the burning liquid.
Use of water in fire fighting should also take into account the hazards of a steam explosion, which may occur when water is used on very hot fires in confined spaces, and of a hydrogen explosion, when substances which react with water, such as certain metals or hot graphite, decompose the water, producing hydrogen gas.
The power of such explosions was seen in the Chernobyl disaster, although the water involved did not come from fire-fighting at that time but the reactor's own water cooling system. A steam explosion occurred when the extreme over-heating of the core caused water to flash into steam. A hydrogen explosion may have occurred as a result of reaction between steam and hot zirconium.
Main article: Water sport (recreation)
Humans use water for many recreational purposes, as well as for exercising and for sports. Some of these include swimming, waterskiing, boating, surfing and diving. In addition, some sports, like ice hockey and ice skating, are played on ice. Lakesides, beaches and waterparks are popular places for people to go to relax and enjoy recreation. Many find the sound and appearance of flowing water to be calming, and fountains and other water features in public or private decorations.. Some keep fish and other life in aquariums or ponds for show, fun, and companionship. Humans also use water for snow sports i.e. skiing, sledding, snowmobiling or snowboarding, which requires the water to be frozen. People may also use water for play fighting such as with snowballs, water guns or water balloons.
A water-carrier in India, 1882. In many places where running water is not available, water had to be transported by people.
A manual water pump in China
Water purification facility
Main articles: Water industry and :Category:Water supply and sanitation by country
The water industry provides drinking water and wastewater services (including sewage treatment) to households and industry. Water supply facilities include water wells cisterns for rainwater harvesting, water supply network, water purification facilities, water tanks, water towers, water pipes including old aqueducts. Atmospheric water generators are in development.
Drinking water is often collected at springs, extracted from artificial borings (wells) in the ground, or pumped from lakes and rivers. Building more wells in adequate places is thus a possible way to produce more water, assuming the aquifers can supply an adequate flow. Other water sources include rainwater collection. Water may require purification for human consumption. This may involve removal of undissolved substances, dissolved substances and harmful microbes. Popular methods are filtering with sand which only removes undissolved material, while chlorination and boiling kill harmful microbes. Distillation does all three functions. More advanced techniques exist, such as reverse osmosis. Desalination of abundant seawater is a more expensive solution used in coastal arid climates.
The distribution of drinking water is done through municipal water systems, tanker delivery or as bottled water. Governments in many countries have programs to distribute water to the needy at no charge. Others argue that the market mechanism and free enterprise are best to manage this rare resource and to finance the boring of wells or the construction of dams and reservoirs.
Reducing usage by using drinking (potable) water only for human consumption is another option. In some cities such as Hong Kong, sea water is extensively used for flushing toilets citywide in order to conserve fresh water resources.
Polluting water may be the biggest single misuse of water; to the extent that a pollutant limits other uses of the water, it becomes a waste of the resource, regardless of benefits to the polluter. Like other types of pollution, this does not enter standard accounting of market costs, being conceived as externalities for which the market cannot account. Thus other people pay the price of water pollution, while the private firms' profits are not redistributed to the local population victim of this pollution. Pharmaceuticals consumed by humans often end up in the waterways and can have detrimental effects on aquatic life if they bioaccumulate and if they are not biodegradable.
Wastewater facilities are storm sewers and wastewater treatment plants. Another way to remove pollution from surface runoff water is bioswale.
Water is used in power generation. Hydroelectricity is electricity obtained from hydropower. Hydroelectric power comes from water driving a water turbine connected to a generator. Hydroelectricity is a low-cost, non-polluting, renewable energy source. The energy is supplied by the sun. Heat from the sun evaporates water, which condenses as rain in higher altitudes, from where it flows down.
Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydro-electric power station
Pressurized water is used in water blasting and water jet cutters. Also, very high pressure water guns are used for precise cutting. It works very well, is relatively safe, and is not harmful to the environment. It is also used in the cooling of machinery to prevent over-heating, or prevent saw blades from over-heating.
Water is also used in many industrial processes and machines, such as the steam turbine and heat exchanger, in addition to its use as a chemical solvent. Discharge of untreated water from industrial uses is pollution. Pollution includes discharged solutes (chemical pollution) and discharged coolant water (thermal pollution). Industry requires pure water for many applications and utilizes a variety of purification techniques both in water supply and discharge.
Water can be used to cook foods such as noodles.
Water plays many critical roles within the field of food science. It is important for a food scientist to understand the roles that water plays within food processing to ensure the success of their products.
Solutes such as salts and sugars found in water affect the physical properties of water. The boiling and freezing points of water is affected by solutes. One mole of sucrose (sugar) per kilogram of water raises the boiling point of water by 0.51 °C, and one mole of salt per kg raises the boiling point by 1.02 °C; similarly, increasing the number of dissolved particles lowers water's freezing point. Solutes in water also affect water activity which affects many chemical reactions and the growth of microbes in food. Water activity can be described as a ratio of the vapor pressure of water in a solution to the vapor pressure of pure water. Solutes in water lower water activity. This is important to know because most bacterial growth ceases at low levels of water activity. Not only does microbial growth affect the safety of food but also the preservation and shelf life of food.
Water hardness is also a critical factor in food processing. It can dramatically affect the quality of a product as well as playing a role in sanitation. Water hardness is classified based on the amounts of removable calcium carbonate salt it contains per gallon. Water hardness is measured in grains; 0.064 g calcium carbonate is equivalent to one grain of hardness. Water is classified as soft if it contains 1 to 4 grains, medium if it contains 5 to 10 grains and hard if it contains 11 to 20 grains.[vague] The hardness of water may be altered or treated by using a chemical ion exchange system. The hardness of water also affects its pH balance which plays a critical role in food processing. For example, hard water prevents successful production of clear beverages. Water hardness also affects sanitation; with increasing hardness, there is a loss of effectiveness for its use as a sanitizer.
Boiling, steaming, and simmering are popular cooking methods that often require immersing food in water or its gaseous state, steam, While cooking water is used for dishwashing too.
Water politics and water crisis
Best estimate of the share of people in developing countries with access to drinking water 1970–2000.
Main articles: Water politics and Water crisis
See also: Water resources, Water law, and Water right
Water politics is politics affected by water and water resources. For this reason, water is a strategic resource in the globe and an important element in many political conflicts. It causes health impacts and damage to biodiversity.
1.6 billion people have gained access to a safe water source since 1990 . The proportion of people in developing countries with access to safe water is calculated to have improved from 30% in 1970 to 71% in 1990, 79% in 2000 and 84% in 2004. This trend is projected to continue. To halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water is one of the Millennium Development Goals. This goal is projected to be reached.
A 2006 United Nations report stated that "there is enough water for everyone", but that access to it is hampered by mismanagement and corruption.
The UN World Water Development Report (WWDR, 2003) from the World Water Assessment Program indicates that, in the next 20 years, the quantity of water available to everyone is predicted to decrease by 30%. 40% of the world's inhabitants currently have insufficient fresh water for minimal hygiene. More than 2.2 million people died in 2000 from waterborne diseases (related to the consumption of contaminated water) or drought. In 2004, the UK charity WaterAid reported that a child dies every 15 seconds from easily preventable water-related diseases; often this means lack of sewage disposal; see toilet.
Organizations concerned in water protection include International Water Association (IWA), WaterAid, Water 1st, American Water Resources Association. Water related conventions are United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and Ramsar Convention. World Day for Water takes place on 22 March and World Ocean Day on 8 June.
Water used in the production of a good or service is virtual water.
Water in culture
Main article: Water and religion
Water is considered a purifier in most religions. Major faiths that incorporate ritual washing (ablution) include Christianity, Hinduism, Rastafarianism, Islam, Shinto, Taoism, and Judaism. Immersion (or aspersion or affusion) of a person in water is a central sacrament of Christianity (where it is called baptism); it is also a part of the practice of other religions, including Judaism (mikvah) and Sikhism (Amrit Sanskar). In addition, a ritual bath in pure water is performed for the dead in many religions including Judaism and Islam. In Islam, the five daily prayers can be done in most cases (see Tayammum) after completing washing certain parts of the body using clean water (wudu). In Shinto, water is used in almost all rituals to cleanse a person or an area (e.g., in the ritual of misogi). Water is mentioned in the Bible 442 times in the New International Version and 363 times in the King James Version: 2 Peter 3:5(b) states, "The earth was formed out of water and by water" (NIV). In the Koran it is stated that "Living things are made of water" and it is often used to described Paradise.
The Ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles held that water is one of the four classical elements along with fire, earth and air, and was regarded as the ylem, or basic substance of the universe. Water was considered cold and moist. In the theory of the four bodily humors, water was associated with phlegm. The classical element of Water was also one of the five elements in traditional Chinese philosophy, along with earth, fire, wood, and metal.
Water is also taken as a role model in some parts of traditional and popular Asian philosophy. James Legge's 1891 translation of the Dao De Jing states "The highest excellence is like (that of) water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Tao" and "There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water, and yet for attacking things that are firm and strong there is nothing that can take precedence of it—for there is nothing (so effectual) for which it can be changed."
Water is used in literature as a symbol of purification. Examples include the critical importance of a river in As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner and the drowning of Ophelia in Hamlet.
Dietary fiber (fibre), sometimes called roughage, is the indigestible portion of plant foods having two main components - soluble (prebiotic, viscous) fiber that is readily fermented in the colon into gases and physiologically active byproducts, and insoluble fiber that is metabolically inert, absorbing water throughout the digestive system and easing defecation. It acts by changing the nature of the contents of the gastrointestinal tract, and by changing how other nutrients and chemicals are absorbed.
Dietary fiber can be soluble (able to dissolve in water) or insoluble. Fiber cannot be digested by humans. However, soluble fiber absorbs water to become a gelatinous, viscous substance and is fermented by bacteria in the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber has bulking action and is not fermentated, although a major dietary insoluble fiber source - lignans - may alter the fate and metabolism of soluble fibers.
Chemically, dietary fiber consists of non-starch polysaccharides such as cellulose and many other plant components such as dextrins, inulin, lignin, waxes, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans and oligosaccharides. A novel position has been adopted by the US Department of Agriculture to include functional fibers as isolated fiber sources that may be included in the diet. The term "fiber" is somewhat of a misnomer, since many types of so-called dietary fiber are not fibers at all.
Food sources of dietary fiber are often divided according to whether they provide (predominantly) soluble or insoluble fiber. Plant foods contain both types of fiber in varying degrees according to the plant’s characteristics.
Advantages of consuming fiber are the production of salubrious compounds during the fermentation of soluble fiber, and insoluble fiber's ability (via its passive hydrophilic properties) to increase bulk, soften stool and shorten transit time through the intestinal tract.
Originally, fiber was defined to be the components of plants that resist human digestive enzyme, a definition that includes lignin and polysaccharides. The definition was later changed to also include resistant starches, along with inulin and other oligosaccharides.
Sources of fiber
Dietary fiber is found in plants. While all plants contain some fiber, plants with high fiber concentrations are generally the most practical source.
Fiber-rich plants can be eaten directly. Or, alternatively, they can be used to make supplements and fiber-rich processed foods.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends consuming a variety of fiber-rich foods.
Plant sources of fiber
Legumes such as soybeans contain dietary fibers.
Some plants contain significant amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. For example plums (or prunes) have a thick skin covering a juicy pulp. The plum's skin is an example of an insoluble fiber source, whereas soluble fiber sources are inside the pulp.
Soluble fiber is found in varying quantities in all plant foods, including:
legumes (peas, soybeans, and other beans)
oats, rye, chia, and barley
some fruits and fruit juices (including prune juice, plums, berries, bananas, and the insides of apples and pears)
certain vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and Jerusalem artichokes
root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions (skins of these vegetables are sources of insoluble fiber)
psyllium seed husk (a mucilage soluble fiber).
Sources of insoluble fiber include:
whole grain foods
wheat and corn bran
nuts and seeds
vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower, zucchini (courgette), celery, and nopal
the skins of some fruits, including tomatoes
The five most fiber-rich plant foods, according to the Micronutrient Center of the Linus Pauling Institute, are legumes (15-19 grams of fiber per US cup serving, including several types of beans, lentils and peas), wheat bran (17 grams per cup), prunes (12 grams), Asian pear (10 grams each, 3.6% by weight), and quinoa (9 grams).
Rubus fruits such as raspberry (8 grams of fiber per serving) and blackberry (7.4 grams of fiber per serving) are exceptional sources of fiber.
Main article: Fibre Supplements
These are a few example forms of fiber that have been sold as supplements or food additives. These may be marketed to consumers for nutritional purposes, treatment of various gastrointestinal disorders, and for such possible health benefits as lowering cholesterol levels, reducing risk of colon cancer, and losing weight.
Soluble fiber supplements may be beneficial for alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as diarrhea and/or constipation and abdominal discomfort. Prebiotic soluble fiber products, like those containing inulin or oligosaccharides, may contribute to relief from inflammatory bowel disease, as in Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and Clostridium difficile, due in part to the short-chain fatty acids produced with subsequent anti-inflammatory actions upon the bowel. Fiber supplements may be effective in an overall dietary plan for managing irritable bowel syndrome by modification of food choices.
Main article: Inulin
Chemically defined as oligosaccharides occurring naturally in most plants, inulins have nutritional value as carbohydrates, or more specifically as fructans, a polymer of the natural plant sugar, fructose. Inulin is typically extracted by manufacturers from enriched plant sources such as chicory roots or Jerusalem artichokes for use in prepared foods. Subtly sweet, it can be used to replace sugar, fat, and flour, is often used to improve the flow and mixing qualities of powdered nutritional supplements, and has significant potential health value as a prebiotic fermentable fiber.
Inulin is advantageous because it contains 25-30% the food energy of sugar or other carbohydrates and 10-15% the food energy of fat. As a prebiotic fermentable fiber, its metabolism by gut flora yields short-chain fatty acids (discussed above) which increase absorption of calcium, magnesium, and iron, resulting from upregulation of mineral-transporting genes and their membrane transport proteins within the colon wall. Among other potential beneficial effects noted above, inulin promotes an increase in the mass and health of intestinal Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium populations.
Vegetable gum fiber supplements are relatively new to the market. Often sold as a powder, vegetable gum fibers dissolve easily with no aftertaste. In preliminary clinical trials, they have proven effective for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Examples of vegetable gum fibers are guar gum (reformulated to wheat dextrin) and acacia senegal gum.
The main action of dietary fiber is to change the nature of the contents of the gastrointestinal tract, and to change how other nutrients and chemicals are absorbed. Soluble fiber binds to bile acids in the small intestine, making them less likely to enter the body; this in turn lowers cholesterol levels in the blood. Soluble fiber also attenuates the absorption of sugar, reduces sugar response after eating, normalizes blood lipid levels and, once fermented in the colon, produces short-chain fatty acids as byproducts with wide-ranging physiological activities (discussion below). Although insoluble fiber is associated with reduced diabetes risk, the mechanism by which this occurs is unknown.
Not yet formally proposed as an essential macronutrient, dietary fiber is nevertheless regarded as important for the diet, with regulatory authorities in many developed countries recommending increases in fiber intake.
Benefits of fiber intake
Research has shown that fiber may benefit health in several different ways.
Color coding of table entries:
Both Applies to both soluble & insoluble fiber
Soluble Applies to soluble fiber only
Insoluble Applies to insoluble fiber only
Dietary fiber functions & benefits
Adds bulk to your diet, making you feel full faster May reduce appetite Attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, trapping carbohydrates and slowing absorption of glucose Lowers variance in blood sugar levels
Lowers total and LDL cholesterol Reduces risk of heart disease Regulates blood sugar May reduce onset risk or symptoms of metabolic syndrome and diabetes
Speed the passage of foods through the digestive system Facilitates regularity Adds bulk to the stool Alleviates constipation Balance intestinal pH and stimulates intestinal fermentation production of short-chain fatty acids May reduce risk of colorectal cancer
Fiber does not bind to minerals and vitamins and therefore does not restrict their absorption, but rather evidence exists that fermentable fiber sources improve absorption of minerals, especially calcium. Some plant foods can reduce the absorption of minerals and vitamins like calcium, zinc, vitamin C and magnesium, but this is caused by the presence of phytate (which is also thought to have important health benefits), not by fiber.
Guidelines on fiber intake Current recommendations from the United States National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, suggest that adults should consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day, but the average American's daily intake of dietary fiber is only 12-18 grams.
The ADA recommends a minimum of 20-35 g/day for a healthy adult depending on calorie intake (e.g., a 2000 cal/8400 kJ diet should include 25 g of fiber per day). The ADA's recommendation for children is that intake should equal age in years plus 5 g/day (e.g., a 4 year old should consume 9 g/day). No guidelines have yet been established for the elderly or very ill. Patients with current constipation, vomiting, and abdominal pain should see a physician. Certain bulking agents are not commonly recommended with the prescription of opioids because the slow transit time mixed with larger stools may lead to severe constipation, pain, or obstruction.
The British Nutrition Foundation has recommended a minimum fiber intake of 18 g/day for healthy adults.
Fiber recommendations in North America On average, North Americans consume less than 50% of the dietary fiber levels required for good health. In the preferred food choices of today's youth, this value may be as low as 20%, a factor considered by experts as contributing to the obesity crisis seen in many developed countries.
Recognizing the growing scientific evidence for physiological benefits of increased fiber intake, regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States have given approvals to food products making health claims for fiber.
In clinical trials to date, these fiber sources were shown to significantly reduce blood cholesterol levels, an important factor for general cardiovascular health, and to lower risk of onset for some types of cancer.
Soluble (fermentable) fiber sources gaining FDA approval are: Psyllium seed husk (7 grams per day) Beta-glucan from oat bran, whole oats, oatrim or rolled oats (3 grams per day)
Beta-glucan from whole grain or dry-milled barley (3 grams per day) Other examples of fermentable fiber sources (from plant foods or biotechnology) used in functional foods and supplements include inulin, resistant dextrins, fructans, xanthan gum, cellulose, guar gum, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and oligo- or polysaccharides.
Consistent intake of fermentable fiber through foods like berries and other fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts is now known to reduce risk of some of the world’s most prevalent diseases — obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and numerous gastrointestinal disorders. In this last category are constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and colon cancer — all disorders of the intestinal tract where fermentable fiber can provide healthful benefits.
Insufficient fiber in the diet can complicate defecation. Low-fiber feces are dehydrated and hardened, making them difficult to evacuate — defining constipation and possibly leading to development of hemorrhoids or anal fissures.
Although many researchers believe that dietary fiber intake reduces risk of colon cancer, one study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Medicine of over 88,000 women did not show a statistically significant relationship between higher fiber consumption and lower rates of colorectal cancer or adenomas.
Fiber recommendations in the UK In June 2007, the British Nutrition Foundation issued a statement to define dietary fiber more concisely and list the potential health benefits established to date:
‘Dietary fiber’ has been used as a collective term for a complex mixture of substances with different chemical and physical properties which exert different types of physiological effects. The use of certain analytical methods to quantify ‘dietary fiber’ by nature of its indigestibility results in many other indigestible components being isolated along with the carbohydrate components of dietary fiber. These components include resistant starches and oligosaccharides along with other substances that exist within the plant cell structure and contribute to the material that passes through the digestive tract. Such components are likely to have physiological effects. Yet, some differentiation has to be made between these indigestible plant components and other partially digested material, such as protein, that appears in the large bowel. Thus, it is better to classify fiber as a group of compounds with different physiological characteristics, rather than to be constrained by defining it chemically. Diets naturally high in fiber can be considered to bring about several main physiological consequences: helps prevent constipation reduces the risk of colon cancer
improvements in gastrointestinal health improvements in glucose tolerance and the insulin response reduction of hyperlipidemia, hypertension and other coronary heart disease risk factors reduction in the risk of developing some cancers
increased satiety and hence some degree of weight management Therefore, it is not appropriate to state that fiber has a single all encompassing physiological property as these effects are dependent on the type of fiber in the diet. The beneficial effects of high fiber diets are the summation of the effects of the different types of fiber present in the diet and also other components of such diets. Defining fiber physiologically allows recognition of indigestible carbohydrates with structures and physiological properties similar to those of naturally occurring dietary fibers.
Fiber and calories Calories or kilojoules (as used on nutrition labels) are intended to be a measure of how much energy is available from the food source. This energy can be used immediately, for example allowing the body to move during exercise, or to make the heart beat. Energy that is not used immediately is stored as sugars in the short term and later converted to fats, which act as energy reserves.
Energy is extracted from food in a chemical reaction. Because of the principle of conservation of energy, energy can only be extracted when the chemical structure of food particles is changed. Since insoluble fiber particles do not change inside the body, the body should not absorb any energy (or Calories/kilojoules) from them.
Because soluble fiber is changed during fermentation, it could provide energy (Calories/kilojoules) to the body. As of 2009 nutritionists have not reached a consensus on how much energy is actually absorbed, but some approximate around 2 Calories (8.5 kilojoules) per gram of soluble fiber.
Regardless of the type of fiber, the body absorbs fewer than 4 Calories (16.7 kilojoules) per gram of fiber, which can create inconsistencies for actual product nutrition labels. In some countries, fiber is not listed on nutrition labels, and is considered 0 Calories/gram when the food's total Calories are computed. In other countries all fiber must be listed, and is considered 4 Calories/gram when the food's total Calories are computed (because chemically fiber is a type of carbohydrate and other carbohydrates contribute 4 Calories per gram). In the US, soluble fiber must be counted as 4 Calories per gram, but insoluble fiber may be (and usually is) treated as 0 Calories per gram and not mentioned on the label.
Short-chain fatty acids When soluble fiber is fermented, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are produced. SCFA are involved in numerous physiological processes promoting health, including:
stabilize blood glucose levels by acting on pancreatic insulin release and liver control of glycogen breakdown stimulate gene expression of glucose transporters in the intestinal mucosa, regulating glucose absorption
provide nourishment of colonocytes, particularly by the SCFA butyrate suppress cholesterol synthesis by the liver and reduce blood levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides responsible for atherosclerosis
lower colonic pH (i.e., raises the acidity level in the colon) which protects the lining from formation of colonic polyps and increases absorption of dietary minerals
stimulate production of T helper cells, antibodies, leukocytes, cytokines and lymph mechanisms having crucial roles in immune protection improve barrier properties of the colonic mucosal layer, inhibiting inflammatory and adhesion irritants, contributing to immune functions
SCFA that are not absorbed by the colonic mucosa pass through the colonic wall into the portal circulation (supplying the liver), and the liver transports them into the general circulatory system.
Overall, SCFA affect major regulatory systems, such as blood glucose and lipid levels, the colonic environment and intestinal immune functions.
The major SCFA in humans are butyrate, propionate and acetate where butyrate is the major energy source for colonocytes, propionate is destined for uptake by the liver, and acetate enters the peripheral circulation to be metabolized by peripheral tissues.
FDA-approved health claims The FDA allows producers of foods containing 1.7 g per serving of psyllium husk soluble fiber or 0.75 g of oat or barley soluble fiber as beta-glucans to claim that reduced risk of heart disease can result from their regular consumption.
The FDA statement template for making this claim is: Soluble fiber from foods such as [name of soluble fiber source, and, if desired, name of food product], as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of [name of food product] supplies __ grams of the [necessary daily dietary intake for the benefit] soluble fiber from [name of soluble fiber source] necessary per day to have this effect..
Eligible sources of soluble fiber providing beta-glucan include:
Whole oat flour
Whole grain barley and dry milled barley
Soluble fiber from psyllium husk with purity of no less than 95% The allowed label may state that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and that include soluble fiber from certain of the above foods “may” or “might” reduce the risk of heart disease.
As discussed in FDA regulation 21 CFR 101.81, the daily dietary intake levels of soluble fiber from sources listed above associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease are:
3 g or more per day of beta-glucan soluble fiber from either whole oats or barley, or a combination of whole oats and barley
7 g or more per day of soluble fiber from psyllium seed husk. Soluble fiber from consuming grains is included in other allowed health claims for lowering risk of some types of cancer and heart disease by consuming fruit and vegetables (21 CFR 101.76, 101.77 and 101.78).
Soluble fiber fermentation The American Association of Cereal Chemists has defined soluble fiber this way: “the edible parts of plants or similar carbohydrates resistant to digestion and absorption in the human small intestine with complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine.”
In this definition: edible parts of plants — indicates that some parts of a plant we eat — skin, pulp, seeds, stems, leaves, roots — contain fiber. Both insoluble and soluble sources are in those plant components.
carbohydrates — complex carbohydrates, such as long-chained sugars also called starch, oligosaccharides or polysaccharides, are sources of soluble fermentable fiber.
resistant to digestion and absorption in the human small intestine — foods providing nutrients are digested by gastric acid and digestive enzymes in the stomach and small intestine where the nutrients are released then absorbed through the intestinal wall for transport via the blood throughout the body. A food resistant to this process is undigested, as insoluble and soluble fibers are. They pass to the large intestine only affected by their absorption of water (insoluble fiber) or dissolution in water (soluble fiber).
complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine — the large intestine comprises a segment called the colon within which additional nutrient absorption occurs through the process of fermentation. Fermentation occurs by the action of colonic bacteria on the food mass, producing gases and short-chain fatty acids. It is these short-chain fatty acids — butyric, ethanoic (acetic), propionic, and valeric acids — that scientific evidence is revealing to have significant health properties.
As an example of fermentation, shorter-chain carbohydrates (a type of fiber found in legumes) cannot be digested, but are changed via fermentation in the colon into short-chain fatty acids and gases (which are typically expelled as flatulence).
According to a 2002 journal article, fibers compounds with partial or low fermentability include:
cellulose, a polysaccharide
hemicellulose, a polysaccharide
lignans, a group of phytoestrogens
Fiber compounds with high fermentability include:
beta-glucans, a group of polysaccharides
pectins, a group of heteropolysaccharides
natural gums, a group of polysaccharides
inulins, a group of polysaccharides
oligosaccharides, a group of short-chained or simple sugars
Sugar is an informal term for class of edible crystalline substances, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose. They have characteristically a sweet flavor. In food, sugar almost exclusively refers to sucrose, which primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet. Excessive consumption of sucrose has been associated with increased incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity and tooth decay. Sugar consumption varies by country depending on the cultural traditions. Brazil has the highest per capita production and India has the highest per-country consumption.
Popular The term sugar usually refers to sucrose, which is also called "table sugar" or "saccharose." Sucrose is a white crystalline disaccharide. Sucrose is the most popular of the various sugars for flavoring, as well as properties (such as mouthfeel, preservation, and texture) of beverages and food. Manufacturing and preparing food may involve other sugars, such as fructose, generally obtained from corn (maize) or from fruit.
A solution of sucrose in water converts to inverted sugar, a mixture of fructose and glucose (the two components of sucrose). Honey and golden syrup as well as many confectionaries contain or are prepared from "invert."
Culinary/nutritional Grainier, raw sugar. In culinary terms, the foodstuff known as "sugar" delivers a primary taste sensation of sweetness. Apart from the many forms of sugar and of sugar-containing foodstuffs, alternative non-sugar-based sweeteners exist, and these particularly attract interest from people who have problems with their blood sugar level (such as diabetics) and people who wish to limit their calorie-intake while still enjoying sweet foods. Both natural and synthetic substitutes exist with no significant carbohydrate (and thus low-calorie) content: for instance stevia (a herb), and saccharin (produced from naturally occurring but not necessarily naturally edible substances by inducing appropriate chemical reactions).
The World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations expert report (WHO Technical Report Series 916 Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases) defines free sugars as all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. This includes all the sugars referred to above. The term distinguishes these forms from all other culinary sugars added in their natural form with no refining at all.
Baking weight/mass volume relationship Different culinary sugars have different densities due to differences in particle size and inclusion of moisture.
The Domino Sugar Company has established the following volume to weight conversions:
Brown sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 195 g = 6.88 oz
Granular sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 200 g = 7.06 oz
Powdered sugar 1 cup = 48 teaspoons ~ 120 g = 4.23 oz
Dextrose Sugar 0.62 g/ml
Granulated Sugar 0.70 g/ml
Powdered Sugar 0.56 g/ml
Beet Sugar 0.80 g/ml
Main article: Carbohydrate
Scientifically, sugar loosely refers to monosaccharide or disaccharides. Monosaccharides are also called "simple sugars," the most important being glucose. Almost all sugars have the formula CnH2nOn (n is between 3 and 7). Glucose has the molecular formula C6 H12O6. The names of typical sugars end with "-ose," as in "glucose", "dextrose", "fructose.". Sometimes such words may also refer to any types of carbohydrates soluble in water. The mono- and disaccharides contain either aldehyde groups (-CHO) or ketone groups (C=O). These carbon-oxygen double bonds are the reactive centers. All saccharides with more than one ring in their structure result from two or more monosaccharides joined by glycosidic bonds with the resultant loss of a molecule of water (H2O) per bond.
Monosaccharides in a closed-chain form can form glycosidic bonds with other monosaccharides, creating disaccharides (such as sucrose) and polysaccharides (such as starch). Enzymes must hydrolyse or otherwise break these glycosidic bonds before such compounds become metabolised. After digestion and absorption. the principal monosaccharides present in the blood and internal tissues include glucose, fructose, and galactose.Many pentoses and hexoses can form ring structures. In these closed-chain forms, the aldehyde or ketone group remains unfree, so many of the reactions typical of these groups cannot occur. Glucose in solution exists mostly in the ring form at equilibrium, with less than 0.1% of the molecules in the open-chain form.
Natural polymers of sugars Biopolymers of sugars are common in nature. Through photosynthesis plants produce glucose, which has the formula C6H12O6, and convert it for storage as an energy reserve in the form of other carbohydrates such as starch, or (as in cane and beet) as sucrose (table sugar). Sucrose has the chemical formula C12H22O11. Starch, consisting of a two different polymers of glucose, is a readily degradable chemical energy stored by cells, convert to other types of energy.
Cellulose is a polymer of glucose used by plants as structural component. DNA and RNA are built up of the sugars ribose and deoxyribose.
Sucrose: a disaccharide of glucose (left) and fructose (right), important molecules in the body. The sugar in DNA, deoxyribose has the formula C5H10O4.
ant feeding on sugar crystals Etymology The etymology reflects the spread of the commodity. The English word "sugar" originates from the Arabic and Persian word shakar, itself derived from Sanskrit Sharkara. It came to English by way of French, Spanish and/or Italian, which derived their word for sugar from the Arabic and Persian shakar (whence the Portuguese word açúcar, the Spanish word azúcar, the Italian word zucchero, the Old French word zuchre and the contemporary French word sucre). (Compare the OED.) The Greek word for "sugar", zahari, means "pebble". Note that the English word jaggery (meaning "coarse brown Indian sugar") has similar ultimate etymological origins (presumably in Sanskrit).
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are generally triesters of glycerol and fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure and composition. Although the words "oils", "fats", and "lipids" are all used to refer to fats, "oils" is usually used to refer to fats that are liquids at normal room temperature, while "fats" is usually used to refer to fats that are solids at normal room temperature. "Lipids" is used to refer to both liquid and solid fats, along with other related substances. The word "oil" is used for any substance that does not mix with water and has a greasy feel, such as petroleum (or crude oil) and heating oil, regardless of its chemical structure.
Fats form a category of lipid, distinguished from other lipids by their chemical structure and physical properties. This category of molecules is important for many forms of life, serving both structural and metabolic functions. They are an important part of the diet of most heterotrophs (including humans). Fats or lipids are broken down in the body by enzymes called lipases produced in the pancreas.
Examples of edible animal fats are lard (pig fat), fish oil, and butter or ghee. They are obtained from fats in the milk, meat and under the skin of the animal. Examples of edible plant fats are peanut, soya bean, sunflower, sesame, coconut, olive, and vegetable oils. Margarine and vegetable shortening, which can be derived from the above oils, are used mainly for baking. These examples of fats can be categorized into saturated fats and unsaturated fats.
A triglyceride molecule There are many different kinds of fats, but each is a variation on the same chemical structure. All fats consist of fatty acids (chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms, with a carboxylic acid group at one end) bonded to a backbone structure, often glycerol (a "backbone" of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen). Chemically, this is a triester of glycerol, an ester being the molecule formed from the reaction of the carboxylic acid and an organic alcohol. As a simple visual illustration, if the kinks and angles of these chains were straightened out, the molecule would have the shape of a capital letter E. The fatty acids would each be a horizontal line; the glycerol "backbone" would be the vertical line that joins the horizontal lines. Fats therefore have "ester" bonds.
The properties of any specific fat molecule depend on the particular fatty acids that constitute it. Different fatty acids are composed of different numbers of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The carbon atoms, each bonded to two neighboring carbon atoms, form a zigzagging chain; the more carbon atoms there are in any fatty acid, the longer its chain will be. Fatty acids with long chains are more susceptible to intermolecular forces of attraction (in this case, van der Waals forces), raising its melting point. Long chains also yield more energy per molecule when metabolized.
A fat's constituent fatty acids may also differ in the number of hydrogen atoms that are bonded to the chain of carbon atoms. Each carbon atom is typically bonded to two hydrogen atoms. When a fatty acid has this typical arrangement, it is called "saturated", because the carbon atoms are saturated with hydrogen; meaning they are bonded to as many hydrogens as possible. In other fats, a carbon atom may instead bond to only one other hydrogen atom, and have a double bond to a neighboring carbon atom. This results in an "unsaturated" fatty acid. More specifically, it would be a "monounsaturated" fatty acid, whereas, a "polyunsaturated" fatty acid would be a fatty acid with more than one double bond. Saturated and unsaturated fats differ in their energy content and melting point. Since an unsaturated fat contains fewer carbon-hydrogen bonds than a saturated fat with the same number of carbon atoms, unsaturated fats will yield slightly less energy during metabolism than saturated fats with the same number of carbon atoms. Saturated fats can stack themselves in a closely packed arrangement, so they can freeze easily and are typically solid at room temperature. But the rigid double bond in an unsaturated fat fundamentally changes the chemistry of the fat. There are two ways the double bond may be arranged: the isomer with both parts of the chain on the same side of the double bond (the cis-isomer), or the isomer with the parts of the chain on opposite sides of the double bond (the trans-isomer). Most trans-isomer fats (commonly called trans fats) are commercially produced rather than naturally occurring. The cis-isomer introduces a kink into the molecule that prevents the fats from stacking efficiently as in the case of fats with saturated chains. This decreases intermolecular forces between the fat molecules, making it more difficult for unsaturated cis-fats to freeze; they are typically liquid at room temperature. Trans fats may still stack like saturated fats, and are not as susceptible to metabolization as other fats. Trans fats and saturated fats significantly increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Importance for living organisms Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats. Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, an important dietary requirement.
Fats play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function.
Fats also serve as energy stores for the body, containing about 37.8 kilojoules (9 calories) per gram of fat . They are broken down in the body to release glycerol and free fatty acids. The glycerol can be converted to glucose by the liver and thus used as a source of energy.
Fat also serves as a useful buffer towards a host of diseases. When a particular substance, whether chemical or biotic—reaches unsafe levels in the bloodstream, the body can effectively dilute—or at least maintain equilibrium of—the offending substances by storing it in new fat tissue. This helps to protect vital organs, until such time as the offending substances can be metabolized and/or removed from the body by such means as excretion, urination, accidental or intentional bloodletting, sebum excretion, and hair growth.
While it is nearly impossible to remove fat completely from the diet, it would be unhealthy to do so. Some fatty acids are essential nutrients, meaning that they can't be produced in the body from other compounds and need to be consumed in small amounts. All other fats required by the body are non-essential and can be produced in the body from other compounds.
Adipose tissue The obese mouse on the left has large stores of adipose tissue. For comparison, a mouse with a normal amount of adipose tissue is shown on the right.
Main article: Adipose tissue In animals, adipose, or fatty tissue is the body's means of storing metabolic energy over extended periods of time. Depending on current physiological conditions, adipocytes store fat derived from the diet and liver metabolism or degrade stored fat to supply fatty acids and glycerol to the circulation. These metabolic activities are regulated by several hormones (i.e., insulin, glucagon and epinephrine). The location of the tissue determines its metabolic profile: "Visceral fat" is located within the abdominal wall (i.e., beneath the wall of abdominal muscle) whereas "subcutaneous fat" is located beneath the skin (and includes fat that is located in the abdominal area beneath the skin but above the abdominal muscle wall). Visceral fat was recently discovered to be a significant producer of signaling chemicals (ie, hormones), among which are several which are involved in inflammatory tissue responses. One of these is resistin which has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes. This latter result is currently controversial, and there have been reputable studies supporting all sides on the issue.
Proteins (also known as polypeptides) are organic compounds made of amino acids arranged in a linear chain and folded into a globular form. The amino acids in a polymer are joined together by the peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of adjacent amino acid residues. The sequence of amino acids in a protein is defined by the sequence of a gene, which is encoded in the genetic code. In general, the genetic code specifies 20 standard amino acids; however, in certain organisms the genetic code can include selenocysteine — and in certain archaea — pyrrolysine. Shortly after or even during synthesis, the residues in a protein are often chemically modified by post-translational modification, which alters the physical and chemical properties, folding, stability, activity, and ultimately, the function of the proteins. Proteins can also work together to achieve a particular function, and they often associate to form stable complexes.
Like other biological macromolecules such as polysaccharides and nucleic acids, proteins are essential parts of organisms and participate in virtually every process within cells. Many proteins are enzymes that catalyze biochemical reactions and are vital to metabolism. Proteins also have structural or mechanical functions, such as actin and myosin in muscle and the proteins in the cytoskeleton, which form a system of scaffolding that maintains cell shape. Other proteins are important in cell signaling, immune responses, cell adhesion, and the cell cycle. Proteins are also necessary in animals' diets, since animals cannot synthesize all the amino acids they need and must obtain essential amino acids from food. Through the process of digestion, animals break down ingested protein into free amino acids that are then used in metabolism.
Proteins were first described by the Dutch chemist Gerhardus Johannes Mulder and named by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius in 1838. The central role of proteins in living organisms was however not fully appreciated until 1926, when James B. Sumner showed that the enzyme urease was a protein. The first protein to be sequenced was insulin, by Frederick Sanger, who won the Nobel Prize for this achievement in 1958. The first protein structures to be solved were hemoglobin and myoglobin, by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew, respectively, in 1958. The three-dimensional structures of both proteins were first determined by x-ray diffraction analysis; Perutz and Kendrew shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for these discoveries. Proteins may be purified from other cellular components using a variety of techniques such as ultracentrifugation, precipitation, electrophoresis, and chromatography; the advent of genetic engineering has made possible a number of methods to facilitate purification. Methods commonly used to study protein structure and function include immunohistochemistry, site-directed mutagenesis, and mass spectrometry.
Main articles: Biochemistry, Amino acid, and peptide bond Resonance structures of the peptide bond that links individual amino acids to form a protein polymer.
Most proteins are linear polymers built from series of up to 20 different L-a-amino acids. All amino acids possess common structural features, including an a-carbon to which an amino group, a carboxyl group, and a variable side chain are bonded. Only proline differs from this basic structure as it contains an unusual ring to the N-end amine group, which forces the CO–NH amide moiety into a fixed conformation. The side chains of the standard amino acids, detailed in the list of standard amino acids, have a great variety of chemical structures and properties; it is the combined effect of all of the amino acid side chains in a protein that ultimately determines its three-dimensional structure and its chemical reactivity.
Chemical structure of the peptide bond (left) and a peptide bond between leucine and threonine (right). The amino acids in a polypeptide chain are linked by peptide bonds. Once linked in the protein chain, an individual amino acid is called a residue, and the linked series of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms are known as the main chain or protein backbone. The peptide bond has two resonance forms that contribute some double-bond character and inhibit rotation around its axis, so that the alpha carbons are roughly coplanar. The other two dihedral angles in the peptide bond determine the local shape assumed by the protein backbone. The end of the protein with a free carboxyl group is known as the C-terminus or carboxy terminus, whereas the end with a free amino group is known as the N-terminus or amino terminus.
The words protein, polypeptide, and peptide are a little ambiguous and can overlap in meaning. Protein is generally used to refer to the complete biological molecule in a stable conformation, whereas peptide is generally reserved for a short amino acid oligomers often lacking a stable three-dimensional structure. However, the boundary between the two is not well defined and usually lies near 20–30 residues. Polypeptide can refer to any single linear chain of amino acids, usually regardless of length, but often implies an absence of a defined conformation.
Synthesis The DNA sequence of a gene encodes the amino acid sequence of a protein. Proteins are assembled from amino acids using information encoded in genes. Each protein has its own unique amino acid sequence that is specified by the nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding this protein. The genetic code is a set of three-nucleotide sets called codons and each three-nucleotide combination designates an amino acid, for example AUG (adenine-uracil-guanine) is the code for methionine. Because DNA contains four nucleotides, the total number of possible codons is 64; hence, there is some redundancy in the genetic code, with some amino acids specified by more than one codon. Genes encoded in DNA are first transcribed into pre-messenger RNA (mRNA) by proteins such as RNA polymerase. Most organisms then process the pre-mRNA (also known as a primary transcript) using various forms of post-transcriptional modification to form the mature mRNA, which is then used as a template for protein synthesis by the ribosome. In prokaryotes the mRNA may either be used as soon as it is produced, or be bound by a ribosome after having moved away from the nucleoid. In contrast, eukaryotes make mRNA in the cell nucleus and then translocate it across the nuclear membrane into the cytoplasm, where protein synthesis then takes place. The rate of protein synthesis is higher in prokaryotes than eukaryotes and can reach up to 20 amino acids per second.
The process of synthesizing a protein from an mRNA template is known as translation. The mRNA is loaded onto the ribosome and is read three nucleotides at a time by matching each codon to its base pairing anticodon located on a transfer RNA molecule, which carries the amino acid corresponding to the codon it recognizes. The enzyme aminoacyl tRNA synthetase "charges" the tRNA molecules with the correct amino acids. The growing polypeptide is often termed the nascent chain. Proteins are always biosynthesized from N-terminus to C-terminus.
The size of a synthesized protein can be measured by the number of amino acids it contains and by its total molecular mass, which is normally reported in units of daltons (synonymous with atomic mass units), or the derivative unit kilodalton (kDa). Yeast proteins are on average 466 amino acids long and 53 kDa in mass. The largest known proteins are the titins, a component of the muscle sarcomere, with a molecular mass of almost 3,000 kDa and a total length of almost 27,000 amino acids.
Chemical synthesis Short proteins can also be synthesized chemically by a family of methods known as peptide synthesis, which rely on organic synthesis techniques such as chemical ligation to produce peptides in high yield. Chemical synthesis allows for the introduction of non-natural amino acids into polypeptide chains, such as attachment of fluorescent probes to amino acid side chains. These methods are useful in laboratory biochemistry and cell biology, though generally not for commercial applications. Chemical synthesis is inefficient for polypeptides longer than about 300 amino acids, and the synthesized proteins may not readily assume their native tertiary structure. Most chemical synthesis methods proceed from C-terminus to N-terminus, opposite the biological reaction.
Structure of proteins Main article: Protein structure Three possible representations of the three-dimensional structure of the protein triose phosphate isomerase. Left: all-atom representation colored by atom type. Middle: Simplified representation illustrating the backbone conformation, colored by secondary structure. Right: Solvent-accessible surface representation colored by residue type (acidic residues red, basic residues blue, polar residues green, nonpolar residues white).
Most proteins fold into unique 3-dimensional structures. The shape into which a protein naturally folds is known as its native conformation. Although many proteins can fold unassisted, simply through the chemical properties of their amino acids, others require the aid of molecular chaperones to fold into their native states. Biochemists often refer to four distinct aspects of a protein's structure:
Primary structure: the amino acid sequence. Secondary structure: regularly repeating local structures stabilized by hydrogen bonds. The most common examples are the alpha helix, beta sheet and turns. Because secondary structures are local, many regions of different secondary structure can be present in the same protein molecule.
Tertiary structure: the overall shape of a single protein molecule; the spatial relationship of the secondary structures to one another. Tertiary structure is generally stabilized by nonlocal interactions, most commonly the formation of a hydrophobic core, but also through salt bridges, hydrogen bonds, disulfide bonds, and even post-translational modifications. The term "tertiary structure" is often used as synonymous with the term fold. The Tertiary structure is what controls the basic function of the protein.
Quaternary structure: the structure formed by several protein molecules (polypeptide chains), usually called protein subunits in this context, which function as a single protein complex.
Proteins are not entirely rigid molecules. In addition to these levels of structure, proteins may shift between several related structures while they perform their functions. In the context of these functional rearrangements, these tertiary or quaternary structures are usually referred to as "conformations", and transitions between them are called conformational changes. Such changes are often induced by the binding of a substrate molecule to an enzyme's active site, or the physical region of the protein that participates in chemical catalysis. In solution proteins also undergo variation in structure through thermal vibration and the collision with other molecules.
Molecular surface of several proteins showing their comparative sizes. From left to right are: immunoglobulin G (IgG, an antibody), hemoglobin, insulin (a hormone), adenylate kinase (an enzyme), and glutamine synthetase (an enzyme).
Proteins can be informally divided into three main classes, which correlate with typical tertiary structures: globular proteins, fibrous proteins, and membrane proteins. Almost all globular proteins are soluble and many are enzymes. Fibrous proteins are often structural, such as collagen, the major component of connective tissue, or keratin, the protein component of hair and nails. Membrane proteins often serve as receptors or provide channels for polar or charged molecules to pass through the cell membrane.
A special case of intramolecular hydrogen bonds within proteins, poorly shielded from water attack and hence promoting their own dehydration, are called dehydrons.
Structure determination Discovering the tertiary structure of a protein, or the quaternary structure of its complexes, can provide important clues about how the protein performs its function. Common experimental methods of structure determination include X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, both of which can produce information at atomic resolution. Dual polarisation interferometry is a quantitative analytical method for measuring the overall protein conformation and conformational changes due to interactions or other stimulus. Circular dichroism is another laboratory technique for determining internal beta sheet/ helical composition of proteins. Cryoelectron microscopy is used to produce lower-resolution structural information about very large protein complexes, including assembled viruses; a variant known as electron crystallography can also produce high-resolution information in some cases , especially for two-dimensional crystals of membrane proteins. Solved structures are usually deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), a freely available resource from which structural data about thousands of proteins can be obtained in the form of Cartesian coordinates for each atom in the protein.
Many more gene sequences are known than protein structures. Further, the set of solved structures is biased toward proteins that can be easily subjected to the conditions required in X-ray crystallography, one of the major structure determination methods. In particular, globular proteins are comparatively easy to crystallize in preparation for X-ray crystallography. Membrane proteins, by contrast, are difficult to crystallize and are underrepresented in the PDB. Structural genomics initiatives have attempted to remedy these deficiencies by systematically solving representative structures of major fold classes. Protein structure prediction methods attempt to provide a means of generating a plausible structure for proteins whose structures have not been experimentally determined.
Cellular functions Proteins are the chief actors within the cell, said to be carrying out the duties specified by the information encoded in genes. With the exception of certain types of RNA, most other biological molecules are relatively inert elements upon which proteins act. Proteins make up half the dry weight of an Escherichia coli cell, whereas other macromolecules such as DNA and RNA make up only 3% and 20%, respectively. The set of proteins expressed in a particular cell or cell type is known as its proteome.
The enzyme hexokinase is shown as a simple ball-and-stick molecular model. To scale in the top right-hand corner are two of its substrates, ATP and glucose.
The chief characteristic of proteins that also allows their diverse set of functions is their ability to bind other molecules specifically and tightly. The region of the protein responsible for binding another molecule is known as the binding site and is often a depression or "pocket" on the molecular surface. This binding ability is mediated by the tertiary structure of the protein, which defines the binding site pocket, and by the chemical properties of the surrounding amino acids' side chains. Protein binding can be extraordinarily tight and specific; for example, the ribonuclease inhibitor protein binds to human angiogenin with a sub-femtomolar dissociation constant (<10-15>1 M). Extremely minor chemical changes such as the addition of a single methyl group to a binding partner can sometimes suffice to nearly eliminate binding; for example, the aminoacyl tRNA synthetase specific to the amino acid valine discriminates against the very similar side chain of the amino acid isoleucine. Proteins can bind to other proteins as well as to small-molecule substrates. When proteins bind specifically to other copies of the same molecule, they can oligomerize to form fibrils; this process occurs often in structural proteins that consist of globular monomers that self-associate to form rigid fibers. Protein–protein interactions also regulate enzymatic activity, control progression through the cell cycle, and allow the assembly of large protein complexes that carry out many closely related reactions with a common biological function. Proteins can also bind to, or even be integrated into, cell membranes. The ability of binding partners to induce conformational changes in proteins allows the construction of enormously complex signaling networks. Importantly, as interactions between proteins are reversible, and depend heavily on the availability of different groups of partner proteins to form aggregates that are capable to carry out discrete sets of function, study of the interactions between specific proteins is a key to understand important aspects of cellular function, and ultimately the properties that distinguish particular cell types .
Enzymes Main article: Enzyme The best-known role of proteins in the cell is as enzymes, which catalyze chemical reactions. Enzymes are usually highly specific and accelerate only one or a few chemical reactions. Enzymes carry out most of the reactions involved in metabolism, as well as manipulating DNA in processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription. Some enzymes act on other proteins to add or remove chemical groups in a process known as post-translational modification. About 4,000 reactions are known to be catalyzed by enzymes. The rate acceleration conferred by enzymatic catalysis is often enormous — as much as 1017-fold increase in rate over the uncatalyzed reaction in the case of orotate decarboxylase (78 million years without the enzyme, 18 milliseconds with the enzyme).
The molecules bound and acted upon by enzymes are called substrates. Although enzymes can consist of hundreds of amino acids, it is usually only a small fraction of the residues that come in contact with the substrate, and an even smaller fraction — 3 to 4 residues on average — that are directly involved in catalysis. The region of the enzyme that binds the substrate and contains the catalytic residues is known as the active site.
Cell signaling and ligand binding Ribbon diagram of a mouse antibody against cholera that binds a carbohydrate antigen Many proteins are involved in the process of cell signaling and signal transduction. Some proteins, such as insulin, are extracellular proteins that transmit a signal from the cell in which they were synthesized to other cells in distant tissues. Others are membrane proteins that act as receptors whose main function is to bind a signaling molecule and induce a biochemical response in the cell. Many receptors have a binding site exposed on the cell surface and an effector domain within the cell, which may have enzymatic activity or may undergo a conformational change detected by other proteins within the cell.
Antibodies are protein components of adaptive immune system whose main function is to bind antigens, or foreign substances in the body, and target them for destruction. Antibodies can be secreted into the extracellular environment or anchored in the membranes of specialized B cells known as plasma cells. Whereas enzymes are limited in their binding affinity for their substrates by the necessity of conducting their reaction, antibodies have no such constraints. An antibody's binding affinity to its target is extraordinarily high.
Many ligand transport proteins bind particular small biomolecules and transport them to other locations in the body of a multicellular organism. These proteins must have a high binding affinity when their ligand is present in high concentrations, but must also release the ligand when it is present at low concentrations in the target tissues. The canonical example of a ligand-binding protein is haemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to other organs and tissues in all vertebrates and has close homologs in every biological kingdom. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins which are highly specific for their sugar moieties. Lectins typically play a role in biological recognition phenomena involving cells and proteins. Receptors and hormones are highly specific binding proteins.
Transmembrane proteins can also serve as ligand transport proteins that alter the permeability of the cell membrane to small molecules and ions. The membrane alone has a hydrophobic core through which polar or charged molecules cannot diffuse. Membrane proteins contain internal channels that allow such molecules to enter and exit the cell. Many ion channel proteins are specialized to select for only a particular ion; for example, potassium and sodium channels often discriminate for only one of the two ions.
Structural proteins confer stiffness and rigidity to otherwise-fluid biological components. Most structural proteins are fibrous proteins; for example, actin and tubulin are globular and soluble as monomers, but polymerize to form long, stiff fibers that comprise the cytoskeleton, which allows the cell to maintain its shape and size. Collagen and elastin are critical components of connective tissue such as cartilage, and keratin is found in hard or filamentous structures such as hair, nails, feathers, hooves, and some animal shells.
Other proteins that serve structural functions are motor proteins such as myosin, kinesin, and dynein, which are capable of generating mechanical forces. These proteins are crucial for cellular motility of single celled organisms and the sperm of many multicellular organisms which reproduce sexually. They also generate the forces exerted by contracting muscles.
Methods of study
Main article: Protein methods
As some of the most commonly studied biological molecules, the activities and structures of proteins are examined both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro studies of purified proteins in controlled environments are useful for learning how a protein carries out its function: for example, enzyme kinetics studies explore the chemical mechanism of an enzyme's catalytic activity and its relative affinity for various possible substrate molecules. By contrast, in vivo experiments on proteins' activities within cells or even within whole organisms can provide complementary information about where a protein functions and how it is regulated.
Main article: Protein purification
In order to perform in vitro analysis, a protein must be purified away from other cellular components. This process usually begins with cell lysis, in which a cell's membrane is disrupted and its internal contents released into a solution known as a crude lysate. The resulting mixture can be purified using ultracentrifugation, which fractionates the various cellular components into fractions containing soluble proteins; membrane lipids and proteins; cellular organelles, and nucleic acids. Precipitation by a method known as salting out can concentrate the proteins from this lysate. Various types of chromatography are then used to isolate the protein or proteins of interest based on properties such as molecular weight, net charge and binding affinity. The level of purification can be monitored using various types of gel electrophoresis if the desired protein's molecular weight and isoelectric point are known, by spectroscopy if the protein has distinguishable spectroscopic features, or by enzyme assays if the protein has enzymatic activity. Additionally, proteins can be isolated according their charge using electrofocusing.
For natural proteins, a series of purification steps may be necessary to obtain protein sufficiently pure for laboratory applications. To simplify this process, genetic engineering is often used to add chemical features to proteins that make them easier to purify without affecting their structure or activity. Here, a "tag" consisting of a specific amino acid sequence, often a series of histidine residues (a "His-tag"), is attached to one terminus of the protein. As a result, when the lysate is passed over a chromatography column containing nickel, the histidine residues ligate the nickel and attach to the column while the untagged components of the lysate pass unimpeded. A number of different tags have been developed to help researchers purify specific proteins from complex mixtures.
Proteins in different cellular compartments and structures tagged with green fluorescent protein (here, white).
The study of proteins in vivo is often concerned with the synthesis and localization of the protein within the cell. Although many intracellular proteins are synthesized in the cytoplasm and membrane-bound or secreted proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum, the specifics of how proteins are targeted to specific organelles or cellular structures is often unclear. A useful technique for assessing cellular localization uses genetic engineering to express in a cell a fusion protein or chimera consisting of the natural protein of interest linked to a "reporter" such as green fluorescent protein (GFP). The fused protein's position within the cell can be cleanly and efficiently visualized using microscopy, as shown in the figure opposite.
Other methods for elucidating the cellular location of proteins requires the use of known compartmental markers for regions such as the ER, the Golgi, lysosomes/vacuoles, mitochondria, chloroplasts, plasma membrane, etc. With the use of fluorescently-tagged versions of these markers or of antibodies to known markers, it becomes much simpler to identify the localization of a protein of interest. For example, indirect immunofluorescence will allow for fluorescence colocalization and demonstration of location. Fluorescent dyes are used to label cellular compartments for a similar purpose.
Other possibilities exist, as well. For example, immunohistochemistry usually utilizes an antibody to one or more proteins of interest that are conjugated to enzymes yielding either luminescent or chromogenic signals that can be compared between samples, allowing for localization information. Another applicable technique is cofractionation in sucrose (or other material) gradients using isopycnic centrifugation. While this technique does not prove colocalization of a compartment of known density and the protein of interest, it does increase the likelihood, and is more amenable to large-scale studies.
Finally, the gold-standard method of cellular localization is immunoelectron microscopy. This technique also uses an antibody to the protein of interest, along with classical electron microscopy techniques. The sample is prepared for normal electron microscopic examination, and then treated with an antibody to the protein of interest that is conjugated to an extremely electro-dense material, usually gold. This allows for the localization of both ultrastructural details as well as the protein of interest.
Through another genetic engineering application known as site-directed mutagenesis, researchers can alter the protein sequence and hence its structure, cellular localization, and susceptibility to regulation. This technique even allows the incorporation on unnatural amino acids into proteins, using modified tRNAs, and may allow the rational design of new proteins with novel properties.
Proteomics and bioinformatics
Main articles: Proteomics and Bioinformatics
The total complement of proteins present at a time in a cell or cell type is known as its proteome, and the study of such large-scale data sets defines the field of proteomics, named by analogy to the related field of genomics. Key experimental techniques in proteomics include 2D electrophoresis, which allows the separation of a large number of proteins, mass spectrometry, which allows rapid high-throughput identification of proteins and sequencing of peptides (most often after in-gel digestion), protein microarrays, which allow the detection of the relative levels of a large number of proteins present in a cell, and two-hybrid screening, which allows the systematic exploration of protein–protein interactions. The total complement of biologically possible such interactions is known as the interactome. A systematic attempt to determine the structures of proteins representing every possible fold is known as structural genomics.
The large amount of genomic and proteomic data available for a variety of organisms, including the human genome, allows researchers to efficiently identify homologous proteins in distantly related organisms by sequence alignment. Sequence profiling tools can perform more specific sequence manipulations such as restriction enzyme maps, open reading frame analyses for nucleotide sequences, and secondary structure prediction. From this data phylogenetic trees can be constructed and evolutionary hypotheses developed using special software like ClustalW regarding the ancestry of modern organisms and the genes they express. The field of bioinformatics seeks to assemble, annotate, and analyze genomic and proteomic data, applying computational techniques to biological problems such as gene finding and cladistics.
Structure prediction and simulation
Main articles: protein structure prediction and List of protein structure prediction software
Complementary to the field of structural genomics, protein structure prediction seeks to develop efficient ways to provide plausible models for proteins whose structures have not yet been determined experimentally . The most successful type of structure prediction, known as homology modeling, relies on the existence of a "template" structure with sequence similarity to the protein being modeled; structural genomics' goal is to provide sufficient representation in solved structures to model most of those that remain. Although producing accurate models remains a challenge when only distantly related template structures are available, it has been suggested that sequence alignment is the bottleneck in this process, as quite accurate models can be produced if a "perfect" sequence alignment is known. Many structure prediction methods have served to inform the emerging field of protein engineering, in which novel protein folds have already been designed. A more complex computational problem is the prediction of intermolecular interactions, such as in molecular docking and protein–protein interaction prediction.
The processes of protein folding and binding can be simulated using such technique as molecular mechanics, in particular, molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo, which increasingly take advantage of parallel and distributed computing (Folding@Home project ; molecular modeling on GPU). The folding of small alpha-helical protein domains such as the villin headpiece and the HIV accessory protein have been successfully simulated in silico, and hybrid methods that combine standard molecular dynamics with quantum mechanics calculations have allowed exploration of the electronic states of rhodopsins.
Further information: Protein in nutrition
Most microorganisms and plants can biosynthesize all 20 standard amino acids, while animals (including humans) must obtain some of the amino acids from the diet. The amino acids that an organism cannot synthesize on its own are referred to as essential amino acids. Key enzymes that synthesize certain amino acids are not present in animals — such as aspartokinase, which catalyzes the first step in the synthesis of lysine, methionine, and threonine from aspartate. If amino acids are present in the environment, microorganisms can conserve energy by taking up the amino acids from their surroundings and downregulating their biosynthetic pathways.
In animals, amino acids are obtained through the consumption of foods containing protein. Ingested proteins are broken down through digestion, which typically involves denaturation of the protein through exposure to acid and hydrolysis by enzymes called proteases. Some ingested amino acids are used for protein biosynthesis, while others are converted to glucose through gluconeogenesis, or fed into the citric acid cycle. This use of protein as a fuel is particularly important under starvation conditions as it allows the body's own proteins to be used to support life, particularly those found in muscle. Amino acids are also an important dietary source of nitrogen.
History and etymology
Further information: History of molecular biology
Proteins were recognized as a distinct class of biological molecules in the eighteenth century by Antoine Fourcroy and others, distinguished by the molecules' ability to coagulate or flocculate under treatments with heat or acid. Noted examples at the time included albumin from egg whites, blood serum albumin, fibrin, and wheat gluten. Dutch chemist Gerhardus Johannes Mulder carried out elemental analysis of common proteins and found that nearly all proteins had the same empirical formula, C400H620N100O120P1S1. He came to the erroneous conclusion that they might be composed of a single type of (very large) molecule. The term "protein" to describe these molecules was proposed in 1838 by Mulder's associate Jöns Jakob Berzelius; protein is derived from the Greek word p??te??? (proteios), meaning "primary" , "in the lead", or "standing in front". Mulder went on to identify the products of protein degradation such as the amino acid leucine for which he found a (nearly correct) molecular weight of 131 Da.
The difficulty in purifying proteins in large quantities made them very difficult for early protein biochemists to study. Hence, early studies focused on proteins that could be purified in large quantities, e.g., those of blood, egg white, various toxins, and digestive/metabolic enzymes obtained from slaughterhouses. In the 1950s, the Armour Hot Dog Co. purified 1 kg of pure bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A and made it freely available to scientists; this gesture helped ribonuclease A become a major target for biochemical study for the following decades.
Linus Pauling is credited with the successful prediction of regular protein secondary structures based on hydrogen bonding, an idea first put forth by William Astbury in 1933. Later work by Walter Kauzmann on denaturation, based partly on previous studies by Kaj Linderstrøm-Lang, contributed an understanding of protein folding and structure mediated by hydrophobic interactions. In 1949 Fred Sanger correctly determined the amino acid sequence of insulin, thus conclusively demonstrating that proteins consisted of linear polymers of amino acids rather than branched chains, colloids, or cyclols. The first atomic-resolution structures of proteins were solved by X-ray crystallography in the 1960s and by NMR in the 1980s. As of 2009, the Protein Data Bank has over 55,000 atomic-resolution structures of proteins. In more recent times, cryo-electron microscopy of large macromolecular assemblies and computational protein structure prediction of small protein domains are two methods approaching atomic resolution.
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for humans, in which it functions as a vitamin. Ascorbate (an ion of ascorbic acid) is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions in all animals and plants. It is made internally by almost all organisms; notable mammalian exceptions are most or all of the order chiroptera (bats), and the entire suborder Anthropoidea (Haplorrhini) (tarsiers, monkeys and apes). It is also needed by guinea pigs and some species of birds and fish. Deficiency in this vitamin causes the disease scurvy in humans. It is also widely used as a food additive.
The pharmacophore of vitamin C is the ascorbate ion. In living organisms, ascorbate is an anti-oxidant, since it protects the body against oxidative stress, and is a cofactor in several vital enzymatic reactions.
Scurvy has been known since ancient times. People in many parts of the world assumed it was caused by a lack of fresh plant foods. The British Navy started giving sailors lime juice to prevent scurvy in 1795. Ascorbic acid was finally isolated in 1933 and synthesized in 1934. The uses and recommended daily intake of vitamin C are matters of on-going debate, with RDI ranging from 45 to 95 mg/day. Proponents of megadosage propose from 200 to upwards of 2000 mg/day. A recent meta-analysis of 68 reliable antioxidant supplementation experiments, involving a total of 232,606 individuals, concluded that consuming additional ascorbate from supplements may not be as beneficial as thought.
Further information: ascorbic acid
Vitamin C is purely the L-enantiomer of ascorbate; the opposite D-enantiomer has no physiological significance. Both forms are mirror images of the same molecular structure. When L-ascorbate, which is a strong reducing agent, carries out its reducing function, it is converted to its oxidized form, L-dehydroascorbate. L-dehydroascorbate can then be reduced back to the active L-ascorbate form in the body by enzymes and glutathione. During this process semidehydroascorbic acid radical is formed. Ascorbate free radical reacts poorly with oxygen, and thus, will not create a superoxide. Instead two semidehydroascorbate radicals will react and form one ascorbate and one dehydroascorbate. With the help of glutathione, dehydroxyascorbate is converted back to ascorbate. The presence of glutathione is crucial since it spares ascorbate and improves antioxidant capacity of blood. Without it dehydroxyascorbate could not convert back to ascorbate.
L-ascorbate is a weak sugar acid structurally related to glucose which naturally occurs either attached to a hydrogen ion, forming ascorbic acid, or to a metal ion, forming a mineral ascorbate.
Biosynthesis Model of a vitamin C molecule. Black is carbon, red is oxygen, and white is hydrogen
The vast majority of animals and plants are able to synthesize their own vitamin C, through a sequence of four enzyme-driven steps, which convert glucose to vitamin C. The glucose needed to produce ascorbate in the liver (in mammals and perching birds) is extracted from glycogen; ascorbate synthesis is a glycogenolysis-dependent process. In reptiles and birds the biosynthesis is carried out in the kidneys.
Among the animals that have lost the ability to synthesise vitamin C are simians (specifically the suborder haplorrhini, which includes humans), guinea pigs, a number of species of passerine birds (but not all of them—there is some suggestion that the ability was lost separately a number of times in birds), and many (probably all) major families of bats, including major insect and fruit-eating bat families. These animals all lack the L-gulonolactone oxidase (GULO) enzyme, which is required in the last step of vitamin C synthesis, because they have a defective form of the gene for the enzyme (Pseudogene ?GULO). Some of these species (including humans) are able to make do with the lower levels available from their diets by recycling oxidised vitamin C.
Most simians consume the vitamin in amounts 10 to 20 times higher than that recommended by governments for humans. This discrepancy constitutes much of the basis of the controversy on current recommended dietary allowances. It is countered by arguments that humans are very good at conserving dietary vitamin C, and are able to maintain blood levels of vitamin C comparable with other simians, on a far smaller dietary intake.
An adult goat, a typical example of a vitamin C-producing animal, will manufacture more than 13 g of vitamin C per day in normal health and the biosynthesis will increase "manyfold under stress". Trauma or injury has also been demonstrated to use up large quantities of vitamin C in humans. Some microorganisms such as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been shown to be able to synthesize vitamin C from simple sugars.
Vitamin C in evolution Venturi and Venturi suggested that the antioxidant action of ascorbic acid developed firstly in plant kingdom when, about 500 million years ago (Mya), plants began to adapt to mineral deficient fresh-waters of estuary of rivers. Some biologists suggested that many vertebrates had developed their metabolic adaptive strategies in estuary environment. In this theory, some 400-300 Mya, when living plants and animals first began the move from the sea to rivers and land, environmental iodine deficiency was a challenge to the evolution of terrestrial life. In plants, animals and fishes, the terrestrial diet became deficient in many essential marine micronutrients, including iodine, selenium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, etc. Freshwater algae and terrestrial plants, in replacement of marine antioxidants, slowly optimized the production of other endogenous antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, tocopherols etc., some of which became essential “vitamins” in the diet of terrestrial animals (vitamins C, A, E, etc.).
Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a common enzymatic cofactor in mammals used in the synthesis of collagen. Ascorbate is a powerful reducing agent capable of rapidly scavenging a number of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Freshwater teleost fishes also require dietary vitamin C in their diet or they will get scurvy (Hardie et al.,1991). The most widely recognized symptoms of vitamin C deficiency in fishes are scoliosis, lordosis and dark skin coloration. Freshwater salmonids also show impaired collagen formation, internal/fin haemorrhage, spinal curvature and increased mortality. If these fishes are housed in seawater with algae and phytoplankton, then vitamin supplementation seems to be less important, presumably because of the availability of other, more ancient, antioxidants in natural marine environment.
Some scientists have suggested that the loss of human ability to make vitamin C may have caused a rapid simian evolution into modern man. However, the loss of ability to make vitamin C in simians must have occurred much further back in evolutionary history than the emergence of humans or even apes, since it evidently occurred sometime after the split in the Haplorrhini (which cannot make vitamin C) and its sister clade which retained the ability, the Strepsirrhini ("wet-nosed" primates). These two branches parted ways about 63 Mya. Approximately 5 million years later (58 Mya), only a short time afterward from an evolutionary perspective, the infraorder Tarsiiformes, whose only remaining family is that of the tarsier (Tarsiidae), branched off from the other haplorrhines. Since tarsiers also cannot make vitamin C, this implies the mutation had already occurred, and thus must have occurred between these two marker points (63 to 58 Mya).
It has been noted that the loss of the ability to synthesize ascorbate strikingly parallels the evolutionary loss of the ability to break down uric acid. Uric acid and ascorbate are both strong reducing agents. This has led to the suggestion that, in higher primates, uric acid has taken over some of the functions of ascorbate.
Absorption, transport, and disposal
Ascorbic acid is absorbed in the body by both active transport and simple diffusion. Sodium Dependent Active Transport - Sodium-Ascorbate Co-Transporters (SVCTs) and Hexose transporters (GLUTs) are the two transporters required for absorption. SVCT1 and SVCT2 imported the reduced form of ascorbate across plasma membrane. GLUT1 and GLUT3 are the two glucose transporters and only transfer dehydroascorbic acid form of Vitamin C. Although dehydroascorbic acid is absorbed in higher rate than ascorbate, the amount of dehydroascorbic acid found in plasma and tissues under normal conditions is low, as cells rapidly reduce dehydroascorbic acid to ascorbate. Thus, SVCTs appear to be the predominant system for vitamin C transport in the body.
SVCT2 is involved in vitamin C transport in almost every tissue, the notable exception being red blood cells which lose SVCT proteins during maturation. Knockout animals for SVCT2 die shortly after birth, suggesting that SVCT2-mediated vitamin C transport is necessary for life.
With regular intake the absorption rate varies between 70 to 95%. However, the degree of absorption decreases as intake increases. At high intake (12g), fractional human absorption of ascorbic acid may be as low as 16%; at low intake