The monosaccharides may be defined as a group of polyhydroxy aldehydes (aldoses) or ketones (ketoses) normally possessing unbranched carbon chains. All the known ketoses have their carbonyl group in the second position and only a few rare aldoses contain unsubstituted methyl (CH3) or methylene (CH2) groups or branched carbon chains. With the carbonyl group in aldoses at position one, there results a terminal primary alcohol group with intervening secondary alcohol functions. These compounds therefore can be represented by the general formula CH2OH—(CHOH)n—CHO for the aldoses and by CH2OH—(CHOH)n—CO— CH2OH for the ketoses. The monosaccharides are further classified according to their carbon content, with the pentoses and the hexoses being of special interest.


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© Springer-Verlag oHG. Berlin · Göttingen · Heidelberg 1958

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  • F. Shafizadeh
  • M. L. Wolfrom

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