The Iodine Starch test was developed in 1814. The test involves using iodine and an iodide (usually potassium iodide) in solution. It can detect extremely low levers of starch - the starch granules turning an intense dark blue-black colour.
It's a highly standardized test, and although in routine use for more than 200 years, the chemical mechanism of the reaction is still not known.
A 2016 research project suggested that the test might have similarities with a compound known as the pyrroloperylene–iodine complex.
The crystal structure of the pyrroloperylene–iodine complex (with a formula close to pyrroloperylene–I2.2) has been solved. The structure contains infinite polyiodide chains, the Raman spectrum of which resembles that of the famous starch–iodine complex, thus casting light on a historical puzzle
Angewandte Chenie , Volume 55, Issue 28
Note: The test is also used in reverse, to detect low levels of iodine
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