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Summary

We are all familiar with common sugars such as glucose and sucrose and we have all heard of carbohydrates in relation to the food we eat and probably in biology courses.  Sugars are examples of simple carbohydrates.

From the organic chemistry perspective, the word carbohydrate is derived from "carbon hydrates" which originates from the fact that some simple and common examples, such as glucose, C6H12O6, and sucrose, C12H22O11, have the generic formula = Cn(H2O)m

Don't get intimidated by the fact that these are complex molecules... remember they are really just polyhydroxyaldehydes or polyhydroxyketones.
The chemistry is that of the component functional groups, i.e. alcohols, aldehydes / ketones and acetals / ketals which we have already covered.

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© Dr. Ian Hunt, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary