Mandelin Reagent

The Mandelin reagent is used as a simple spot-test to presumptively identify alkaloids as well as other compounds. It is composed of a mixture of ammonium metavanadate and concentrated sulfuric acid. Its primary use is for the detection of ketamine and PMA[1] It is unusual among reagent tests that it has a very strong yellow colour prior to being used for testing, which forms within about 48 hours of mixing.[2]

The United States Department of Justice method for producing the reagent is the addition of 100 mL of concentrated (95–98%) sulfuric acid to 0.5[3]-1 g of Ammonium metavanadate.[4]

This reagent was invented by the German pharmacologist, Karl Friedrich Mandelin (1854–1906) at the University of Dorpat.