A carbohydrate is either sugar or polymer of sugars consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
Carbohydrates are polyhydroxy aldehydes or ketones or compounds which yield them upon hydrolysis
The empirical formula for carbohydrates is Cm
- The term carbohydrates literally mean “hydrates of carbon”.
- This name was assigned because, in most of the carbohydrates, the ratio of hydrogen and oxygen is the same as water (2:1).
- However, there are several non-carbohydrate compounds that appear to be hydrates of carbon i.e. Acetic Acid (C2H4O2).
- Further, some carbohydrates do not satisfy the empirical formula such as rhamnohexose (C6H12H5).
- Therefore, carbohydrates cannot always be regarded as hydrates of carbon.