Suggest one or two simple experiments to determine whether a solid white substance is a lipid or a carbohydrate. What evidence would you need to support each hypothesis?

1 Answer


One simple experiment would be solubility in water.


Most carbohydrates are soluble in water due to their polar nature. Most lipids (except phospholipids and similar chemicals) are not soluble in water. If you try to dissolve the solid white substance in water, and it will dissolve, it is most likely a carbohydrate. Conversely, if it does not dissolve it is most likely a lipid.