Carbohydrates are aldehydes or ketones with multiple hydroxyl groups. The composition of C, H, and O in a carbohydrate is in the ratio (CH2O) which is the source of the name (hydrate of carbon). The importance of aldehyde/ketone chemistry for understanding carbohydrates is obvious. For example, the reaction through which a straight chain sugar assumes the ring form is hemi-acetal formation.

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