Certain polysaccharides, such as starch and glycogen, do not give consistently positive or negative reactions with all lead tetra-acetate/Schiff techniques. This depends upon the conditions under which the oxidant is used. A simple glacial acetic acid solution of lead tetra-acetateis least active but most specific. Added potassium acetate acts as a catalyst. Dilution with water not only increases the activity of the reagent but also decreases the specificity of the test.

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