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Terminology of Carbohydrates

There is lots of terminology associated with carbohydrates and their organic chemistry, some of which we have met before.  The terms are summarised alphabetically below. Follow the links for more detailed information.
 

Acetal The product of the reaction of an aldehyde with excess alcohol
Aldose A carbohydrate with an aldehyde in the open chain form.
Anomeric center In the cyclic sugars, the C atom with two C-O single bonds
Anomeric effect A preference for polar substituents to be axial on the anomeric center
Anomers Two stereoisomers due to different substituent arrangement at the anomeric center
Carbohydrate "carbon hydrates" = Cn(H2O) also referred to as sugars or saccharides
Disaccharide A carbohydrate composed of 2 monosaccharides units
D-sugar Defines the stereochemistry at a specific chirality center relative to that of glyceraldehyde
Fischer projection A stereochemical representation commonly used for carbohydrates
Furanose The cyclic form of a sugar with a 5 membered ring
Glycoside A carbohydrate where the -OH at the anomeric center has been substituted
Glycosidic bond The bond that links the substituent to the anomeric center
Hemi-acetal The product of the reaction of an aldehyde with one equivalent of an alcohol
structure of a hemi-acetal
Hemi-ketal The product of the reaction of a ketone with one equivalent of an alcohol
structure of a hemi-ketal
Hexoses Carbohydrates containing 6 C atoms
Ketal The product of the reaction of a ketone with excess alcohol
Ketose A carbohydrate with a ketone in the open chain form.
L-sugar Defines the stereochemistry at a specific chirality center relative to that of glyceraldehyde
Monosaccharide A carbohydrate with a single carbohydrate unit
Oligosaccharide A carbohydrate composed of a "few" (3-10) monosaccharide units
Pentoses Carbohydrates containing 5 C atoms
Polysaccharide A carbohydrate composed of a many (10+) monosaccharide units
Pyranose The cyclic form of a sugar with a 6 membered ring a pyranose
Saccharide Another word for a carbohydrate
Tetroses Carbohydrates containing 4 C atoms

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