There are a variety of interrelated classification schemes. The most useful classification scheme divides the carbohydrates into groups according to the number of individual simple sugar units. Monosaccharides contain a single unit; disaccharides contain two sugar units; and polysaccharides contain many sugar units as in polymers - most contain glucose as the monosaccharide unit.
Number of Carbons
Monosaccharides can be further classified by the number of carbons present. Hexoses (6-carbons) are by far the most prevalent.
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