The simplest monosaccharides are the trioses glyceraldehyde and dihydroxyace-tone (Figure 2.10). Look carefully at the structures, and you will see that although they both share the same number of carbons (3), hydrogens(6) and oxygens (3), the way in which these atoms are arranged is different in the two sugars. Molecules such as these, which have the same chemical formula but different structural formulas, are said to be structural isomers. The different groupings of atoms lead to structural isomers having different chemical properties. When we come to look at the hexoses (six carbon sugars), we see that there are many structural possibilities for the general formula C6H12O6; some of these are shown below.
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