Life and career (Balland, 1882; Anonymous, 1888; La Bel, 1889–1890)

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Frédéric Alphonse Musculus (1828–1888) was a French military pharmacist who worked mainly on starch, its reactions, and derivatives, and urease. His found that dextrin was not the product of a hydration alone but the result of the decomposition of the starchy matter. Dextrin and glucose appeared always in the same 2:1 ratio. The same results were obtained using diluted sulfuric acid or diastase as the reaction agent. He showed that the results of Payen on the subject were wrong because he had used an impure dextrin. Together with David Gruber, a major brewer producer, synthesized many starch derivatives, among them, erythrodextrin, achroodextrin a, b, g, and soluble starch, and concluded that starch was a polysaccharide of formula n(C12H20O10), where n was larger than 5 or 6. With Méring he studied the action of saliva and pancreatic juice upon glucose and glycogen. Musculus separated from putrefying urine a ferment, which eventually Miquel would name urease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalEducacion Quimica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Dextrin
  • ferments
  • glucose
  • glycogen
  • soluble dextrin
  • urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


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