Monday, May 15, 2017

Henri Braconnot

Henri Braconnot (May 29, 1780, Commercy, Meuse – January 15, 1855) was born in Commercy, France. He was apprentice to a pharmacist at the age 0f 13. At 15 he went to Strasbourg as part of his military service where he worked in the hospital.

After a short period in Paris, he moved to Nancy where he stayed for the remainder of his life. In 1807 he became professor of natural history and director of the Botanical Gardens. Braconnot was interested in the chemical make-up of plants and discovered in 1819 a means of obtaining glucose from various plant products lacking in starch, such as tree bark and sawdust.

Braconnot also did work on saponification and he discovered the amino acids glycine and leucine. Braconnot first isolated pectin in 1825. Pectin was first discovered by the French chemist Louis Nocolas Vauquelin in 1790 and was specified as pectin for its gelling properties by Braconnot.

His numerous papers are printed in the ‘Annales de Chimie et de Physique,’ ‘Le Bulletin de Pharmacie,’ ‘Le Journal de Chimie Medicale’.
Henri Braconnot
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