Ehrlich's reagent, also known as the "DMAB test", is used as a simple spot-test to presumptively identify indoles, primarily psychoactive tryptamines and ergoloids. It is prepared by dissolving 0.5-2.0 g of p–dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (DMAB) in 50 mL of 95% ethanol and 50 mL of concentrated hydrochloric acid. It is best prepared fresh.
The Ehrlich reagent is similar to a number of other indole tests:
- The van Urk reagent which uses DMAB, sulphuric acid and an oxidant.
- The Renz and Loew reagent which uses p-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde and may also be used for the detection of flavonoids.
- The "improved hallucinogen reagent" which uses 5 g DMAB in 100 mL concentrated phosphoric acid (specific gravity 1.75) and 100 mL of methanol.
- Pill testing
- Liebermann reagent
- Froehde reagent
- Opium, which tests positively with indole tests due to its tryptophan content.
- Spratley, Trinette (2004). "Analytical Profiles for Five “Designer” Tryptamines" (PDF). Microgram Journal 3 (1-2): 55. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- O’Neal, C. L.; Crouch, D. J.; Fatah, A. A. (2000). "Validation of twelve chemical spot tests for the detection of drugs of abuse". Forensic Science International 109 (3): 189–201. doi:10.1016/S0379-0738(99)00235-2. PMID 10725655.
- "Color Test Reagents/Kits for Preliminary Identification of Drugs of Abuse" (PDF). Law Enforcement and Corrections Standards and Testing Program. July 2000. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
- De Faubert Maunder, M. J. (1975). "Field and laboratory test for raw and prepared opium". Bulletin on narcotics 27 (1): 71–76. PMID 1039285.
- Hvorost, Alex (2010). "p-Dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (Wasicky reagent or Van Urk reagent; a general test for ergot alkaloids)". Retrieved 2012-02-27.
- "Ehrlich EZ Testing Kit". Retrieved 2012-02-27. "The Ehrlich test screens for LSD and other Indoles. The Ehrlich test screens for LSD and other Indoles."
- Ehmann, A. (1977). "The van URK-Salkowski reagent — a sensitive and specific chromogenic reagent for silica gel thin-layer chromatographic detection and identification of indole derivatives". Journal of Chromatography A 132 (2): 267–201. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(00)89300-0.
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