Relationship between the antifreeze activities and the chemical structures of polyols

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In this paper, we study the antifreeze activities of aqueous solutions of carbohydrates by Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) technique. The observed antifreeze activity of carbohydrates is correlated to the chemical structures of the carbohydrates. Based on the DSC results, we develop a simple molecular model aimed at explaining the antifreeze activity of carbohydrates. Our molecular model demonstrates that carbohydrates with unique chemical structures that possessing a certain spatial O-O distance of 4.2-4.5 Å between the hydroxyl groups are essential for antifreeze activity. Additionally the structure-antifreeze activity relationship of the carbohydrates may be easily explained within the limits of the concept of their complementarity to the surface of the hexagonal ice. Overall our results provide new physical insights on the role of the complementary pattern of carbohydrates to ice surfaces and their antifreeze activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Molecular Structure
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) (Grant No. 289). E. Baruch acknowledge the Bar-Ilan President’s Ph.D. Scholarship Foundation.


  • Alcohols
  • Calorimetry
  • Carbohydrates
  • Crystal growth
  • Ice-water
  • Molecular modeling


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