Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Novel Technologies for Producing Renewable Chemicals and Polymers from Carbohydrates Derived from Agricultural Feedstocks

Location: Renewable Product Technology Research Unit

Title: The name of the -ose: An editorial on carbohydrate nomenclature

item Price, Neil

Submitted to: Glycobiology
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: What’s in a name? The term "sugar" is usually applied to the monosaccharides, disaccharides, and lower oligosaccharides, although "carbohydrate" ("hydrate de carbone") was originally used only for monosaccharides, because their composition can be expressed as Cn(H2O)n. Historically, sugars were named after their source, plus the suffix "-ose". Whether we write D-glucose, R-glucose, or (2R,3S,4R,5R)-6-(hydroxymethyl)tetrahydro-2H-pyran-2,3,4,5-tetrol, which is the IUPAC name for D-glucopyranose, using the correct nomenclature is important. Let’s make sure that we are all describing the same sugars. "What's in a name? That which we call an -ose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Last Modified: 10/31/2014