: a sugar not decomposable to simpler sugars by hydrolysis—called also simple sugar
Any of the simple sugars that serve as building blocks for carbohydrates. They are classified based on their backbone of carbon (C) atoms: Trioses have three carbon atoms, tetroses four, pentoses five, hexoses six, and heptoses seven. The carbon atoms are bonded to hydrogen atoms (H), hydroxyl groups (OH; seefunctional group), and carbonyl groups (CO), whose combinations, order, and configurations allow a large number of stereoisomers (seeisomer) to exist. Pentoses include xylose, found in woody materials; arabinose, found in gums from conifers; ribose, a component of RNA and several vitamins; and deoxyribose, a component of DNA. Important hexoses include glucose, galactose, and fructose. Monosaccharides combine with each other and other groups to form a variety of disaccharides, polysaccharides, and other carbohydrates.