Polarographic determination of maleic and fumaric acid alone or in mixtures

Maleic and fumaric acid can be reduced electrochemically to succinic acid. In acidic solutions a differentiation of the two acids is not possible since both are reduced at the same potential. On the other hand, separation at pH 7.8...8.0 is easily possible since fumaric acid is now more difficult to reduce at the lower proton concentration (as a result of cis-trans isomerism) than maleic acid.