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A reductone is a special class of organic compounds. They are enediols with a carbonyl group adjacent to the enediol group, i.e. RC(OH)=C(OH)-C(O)R. The enediol structure is stabilized by the resonance resulting from the tautomerism with the adjacent carbonyl. Therefore, the chemical equilibrium produces mainly the enediol form rather than the keto form.[1]

Reductones are reducing agents, thus efficacious antioxidants. Some are fairly strong acids.[2] Examples of reductones are tartronaldehyde, reductic acid and ascorbic acid.

Examples of reductones
Tartronaldehyde.svg Reductic acid.svg L-Ascorbic acid.svg
Tartronaldehyde  Reductic acid  Ascorbic acid
(Vitamin C)


  1. ^ Schank, Kurt (1972). "Reductones". Synthesis: 176–90. doi:10.1055/s-1972-21845.
  2. ^ IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book") (1997). Online corrected version:  (2006–) "reductones". doi:10.1351/goldbook.R05224