14.1: What are monosaccharides?

Monosaccharides are carbohydrates that cannot be hydrolysed further to give simpler units of polyhydroxy aldehyde or ketone. Monosaccharides are classified on the bases of number of carbon atoms and the functional group present in them. Monosaccharides containing an aldehyde group are known as aldoses and those containing a keto group are known as ketoses. Monosaccharides are further classified as trioses, tetroses, pentoses, hexoses, and heptoses according to the number of carbon atoms they contain. For example, a ketose containing 3 carbon atoms is called ketotriose and an aldose containing 3 carbon atoms is called aldotriose.