Concept

Monosaccharide

Summary
Monosaccharides (from Greek monos: single, sacchar: sugar), also called simple sugars, are the simplest forms of sugar and the most basic units (monomers) from which all carbohydrates are built. They are usually colorless, water-soluble, and crystalline solids. Contrary to their name (sugars), only some monosaccharides have a sweet taste. Most monosaccharides have the formula (CH2O) (though not all molecules with this formula are monosaccharides). Examples of monosaccharides include glucose (dextrose), fructose (levulose), and galactose. Monosaccharides are the building blocks of disaccharides (such as sucrose and lactose) and polysaccharides (such as cellulose and starch). The table sugar used in everyday vernacular is itself a disaccharide sucrose comprising one molecule of each of the two monosaccharides D-glucose and D-fructose. Each carbon atom that supports a hydroxyl group is chiral, except those at the end of the chain. This gives rise to a number of isomeri
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